As some of you already know, I run informal but hands on cookery lessons in my home. It’s a great way of having fun and making new friends. Well the tables were turned on me this week as one of my Italian students, Linda, taught me her recipe for making cannelloni which is a lot different to mine. We had great fun making this dish as we experimented a bit with herbs and spices and made the cannelloni adding some of the Indian spices such as nutmeg, cumin and coriander to the basic recipe. We came up with a perfect taste by blending the Italian and Indian spices. This is an Italian and Indian spiced fusion meal in one.
Ingredients for 4 -6 people:
- 4 cups of fresh or frozen spinach
- 2 cups of fresh or any mixed vegetables (I used frozen carrots, beans, peas, sweetcorn)
- 3-4 cloves of freshly pressed Garlic
- 2-3 tablespoons of oil
- I cup Ricotta Cheese
- 2 teaspoons salt (one for the filling and one for adding to the water when you precook the cannelloni)
- ½ teaspoon of chilly powder
- ½ teaspoon of cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon of turmeric
- 16 Cannelloni Tubes
- 2-3 cups grated Cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2-3 green chillies (optional) We added one of my frozen cubes of green chillies
For the red sauce:
- 4 cups pasata
- 2-3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dried Basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2-3 cloves of freshly pressed garlic
- 1 large red onion
For the béchamel sauce
- 1/3 cup plain white flour
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 3½ cups milk at room temperature
- 2 tablespoon of butter
First prepare the filling:
2. Add in the chopped spinach, mixed vegetable, plus the spices – salt, chilly powder, cumin powder and turmeric.
3. Cover and allow to cook for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
4. Once cooked, blend all the vegetables using a potato masher
5. Allow the mixture to cool.
Now prepare the béchamel sauce:
11. Heat the butter until it melts.
12. Now make the roux (rue) by adding the plain flour to the melted butter. Keep stirring the mixture constantly for about 5 minutes over low heat. The flour needs to be cooked well to get a good sauce.
13. Add in the milk (which should be at room temperature) slowly, turn the heat to medium and continue to stir the sauce until it begins to thicken. Now add in the nutmeg.
14. Your béchamel sauce is ready so switch off the heat.
Other pasta recipes you may like from my blog are :
- Spinach and Ricotta Cheese Stuffed Pasta Shells
- Cannelloni – Mixed Vegetables and Three Cheese Cannelloni
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