Turn on the Scottish news at the moment and the main story is all about the impending fuel shortage in the country. Workers at our main refinery have been striking recently over pension plans and as a result petrol, diesel, heating oil, etc are not being shipped to outlets as per usual. What the public do not seem to realise is that Scotland is suffering from another shortage: pasta machines.
Seriously, I have been to three shops in the last week trying to buy one and each time have been told that they are currenly unavailable and to check back in June. June! Those of you in large cities may be thinking: try another shop. This is Inverness though. That three places supply pasta machines at all is pretty good going.
Anyway, enough whinging for my lack of pasta machine was rather fortuitous in the end, resulting in a cracking impromtu cannelloni. Let me explain…
On Sunday I decided to admit pasta machine defeat and to try hand-rolling instead. I was not successful. My plan had been to make spinach and ricotta stuffed ravioli and the filling had already been prepared. After realising that I was failing to roll the pasta to the required thinness I gave up on the idea, put the stuffing in the fridge and had pasta alla puttanesca for dinner instead (more about that next week). Then this evening I came home from a spinnning class (as in the exercise bike fitness class rather than wool making) and spied the green and white fluffy mixture. It screamed CANNELLONI at me!! And so that’s what I made.
The end result was suprisingly delicious. Though I adore bechamel sauce and though it is essential in classic cannelloni, I omitted it from this dish as I wanted it to be light.
The following amounts are imprecise. This is the first time I made this and, frankly, I wasn’t paying that much attention.
Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni
Pinch of nutmeg
8 sheets of lasagne
500g cherry tomatoes (halved)
Handful of basil leaves, torn
Parmesan shavings to serve
- In a large covered pan wilt the spinach with just a sprinkling of water. Drain. Once cool squeeze out all the moisture and chop the spinach finely.
- Add the spinach, nutmeg and seasoning to the ricotta. Combine and season well.
- Spoon the ricotta mixture onto the sheets of lasagne and roll up like a cigar.
- Place into a snug fitting shallow casserole dish with some seasoned cherry tomatoes and basil lining the bottom.
- Add the rest of the cherry tomatoes and the passata on top of the rolled pasta and bake in a 190oC preheated oven for 30 mins.
- Serve with parmesan shavings.
I have just realised that this calcium rich dish is a perfect entry for Susan’s Beautiful Bones event, alerting women to the risks of osteoperosis. All entries to the event are to be calcium rich to help protect our beautiful bones.