Keep a few portions of this vegetarian classic in the freezer and you'll never be stuck for a satisfying supper
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 8 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 4 x 400g cans chopped chopped tomatoes
- small bunch basil leaves
- 2 x 250g tubs mascarpone
- 3 tbsp milk
- 85g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated
- 2 x 125g balls mozzarella, sliced
- 1kg spinach
- 100g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated
- 3 x 250g tubs ricotta
- large pinch grated nutmeg
- 400g dried cannelloni
MethodHeat the oil in a large pan and fry the garlic for 1 min. Add the sugar, vinegar, tomatoes and some seasoning and simmer for 20 mins, stirring occasionally, until thick. Add the basil and divide the sauce between 2 or more shallow ovenproof dishes (see Tips for freezing, below). Set aside. Make a sauce by beating the mascarpone with the milk until smooth, season, then set aside.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- pinch golden caster sugar
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 x 400g cans chopped tomato
- 500g spinach, washed
- 300g soft rindless goat's cheese
- 100g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated
- pinch grated nutmeg
- 200g dried cannelloni tubes
- 1 ball mozzarella, sliced
- First make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a shallow pan, then fry the garlic for 1 min until fragrant. Add the sugar, vinegar and oregano. Simmer for a moment, then tip in the tomatoes and season. Simmer sauce for 20 mins, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have cooked down to a thick sauce. Turn off heat and set aside.
- Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Put the spinach in a large colander, then pour over a kettle of hot water to wilt it (you may need to do this twice). Pour over cold water to cool it down. Squeeze the spinach, then place it in a clean tea towel and wring out the water really well.
- Tip the spinach into a food processor and pulse to chop, then crumble in the goat’s cheese and half the Parmesan. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, then blitz until everything is finely chopped. Using a piping bag, or a plastic food bag with the corner cut off, squeeze the mix into the cannelloni tubes, then lay them, side by side, in a baking dish. Pour over the tomato sauce and top with the mozzarella and remaining Parmesan. The cannelloni can now be frozen for up to 1 month – defrost completely before cooking. Bake for 25-30 mins until golden and bubbling, then remove and leave to stand for 5 mins. Serve from the dish.
- 2 aubergines, cut into thin slices lengthways
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 500g spinach
- 250g tub ricotta
- grating of nutmeg
- 350g jar tomato sauce
- 4 tbsp fresh breadcrumb
- 4 tbsp Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative)
- Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Brush both sides of the aubergine slices with oil, then lay on a large baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 mins until tender, turning once.
- Meanwhile, put the spinach in a large colander and pour over a kettle of boiling water to wilt. Cool, then squeeze out the excess water, so that it is dry. Mix with the ricotta, nutmeg and plenty of seasoning.
- Dollop a spoonful of the cheesy spinach mix in the centre of each aubergine slice, fold over to make a parcel and lay, sealed-side down, in an ovenproof dish. Pour over tomato sauce, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cheese, and bake for 20-25 mins until golden and piping hot.
- 50g butter
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1kg spinach
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 500g ricotta
- 2 egg yolks
- 85g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated
- 2 x 375g packs all-butter puff pastry
- a little flour, for dusting
- 1 egg, beaten
- Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Melt half the butter with the oil in a sauté pan. Add the onion and cook for 10 mins until softened. Remove to a bowl.
- Add a few handfuls of spinach to the pan and cook for a few mins until it has wilted down. Remove from the heat and drain in a colander. Repeat until all the spinach is cooked. Press with the back of a spoon to remove any excess liquid. Now roughly chop and tip into the bowl with the onion. Stir in the nutmeg, ricotta, egg yolks, Parmesan and some seasoning and mix well.
- Roll out one pack of pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 25 x 30cm rectangle, then lay on a large baking sheet. With the longest side facing you, pack the spinach mixture down the middle of the pastry, leaving a 5cm border all the way around. Brush the pastry all the way round with some beaten egg.
- Roll out the second pack of pastry to a rectangle slightly larger than the first. Drape over the top and gently press down the edges to seal both pastry layers together. Trim the edges to neaten and crimp with your fingers, or seal down with a fork.
- Brush all over with beaten egg and, if you like, lightly score the pastry with the back of a knife in a criss-cross fashion, making sure you don’t cut all the way through. Bake for 40 mins. Leave to rest for 10 mins before serving.