‘Ricotta’, Spinach and Sun dried Tomato Cannelloni

Hi all! Last nights dish was inspired by one of my favorite dishes that I use to make regularly before I was dairy free. I use to buy the pre-made cannelloni and stuff them with ricotta & spinach or ricotta and pumpkin. I decided to be more adventurous this time and make vegan ricotta and make the tomato flavored pasta sheets. I added  tomato paste to the pasta dough, so that the pasta would be colored and have more flavor. For the vegan ricotta I used the recipe from my favorite book at the moment, The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions. In the past I have made Chef Chloe’s Garden Ricotta and used Tofutti Ricotta. This recipe probably doesn’t taste as much like ricotta, but it is easy to make and tastes pretty good. I also prefer it to store bought because there are no added questionable ingredients. I served the cannelloni with a simple salad of green oak lettuce, red  onion, cucumber, black olives and evo. Luckily this recipe makes a big batch so everyone’s got lunch for today.

DSC02599

‘Ricotta’, Spinach and Sun dried Tomato Cannelloni (vegan)

Ingredients for Ricotta:

375-400g firm tofu

1/4 cup ground cashews

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried basil

salt & pepper to taste

Ingredients for Tomato Flavored Pasta dough:

1 cup semolina (more for dough)

1 cup wholemeal flour (more for dough)

pinch sea salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup warm water

4 tablespoons tomato paste

Remaining Ingredients for filling & baking:

batch of ‘ricotta’

4 big handfuls of baby spinach

20 sun dried tomatoes

2 x 500g passata sauce (keep extra for reheating)

vegan mozzarella (optional)

Method:

Firstly make the ‘Ricotta’DSC02584:

1. Take a bowl and crumble all the tofu, so it looks like ricotta.

2. Then add the remaining ingredients and stir through. Place to the side till ready to use.

Secondly make the Pasta Dough:

1. Take a large bowl and combine semolina, wholemeal flour and sea salt.DSC02578

2. Add olive oil and tomato puree and stir through.

3. Then slowly add warm water. Combine so that it becomes like a dough.

4. On a floury board knead the dough for 10 mins, so that the dough is smooth and elastic. Set aside for 10 mins.

Thirdly, make the filling

1. Chop the baby spinach in ribbons and drain and chop the sun dried tomatoes.DSC02591

2. Take a pan, add a small amount of water and add the baby spinach and cook on a low heat for 1-2 mins, until it has wilted.

3. Take pan off the heat and stir through sun dried tomatoes and the ‘ricotta’.

Fourthy make pasta dough, assemble the cannelloni and bake

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Take two baking trays and place to the side (I used one large and one medium)DSC02592

2. Divide the pasta in to 6 balls and use the pasta machine to make dough balls into pasta sheets. Place the sheets on damp tea  towels.

3. Once all the pasta sheets are made, divide them with a knife, so that they are about 10 cm wide.DSC02588

4. Take baking trays and spoon passata sauce on the bottom, so that you can place the cannelloni in as you are making them in following steps.DSC02593

4. Fill the center of the pasta sheets with the filling and roll the sides in, so that it makes a cylinder shape (you can over lap the pasta sheets). Then place in baking trays side by side.

5. Once trays are filled with cannelloni, top with passata sauce. You can add vegan mozzarella if you want on top.

6. Bake in the oven for 30 mins or until pasta is cooked.

*Serves 8, makes about 36 cannelloni

*Goes well with a simple salad

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7 thoughts on “‘Ricotta’, Spinach and Sun dried Tomato Cannelloni

    • Thanks! yeah it did have a richer taste. So simple not sure why I didn’t think about it before. In Melbourne I walked past a fresh pasta shop and they had some really interesting pasta flavor combinations like poppy seed and basil & chives. I want to try out some more different ones soon.

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