It’s my turn for our family cooking class!!! And the “theme” is TUBES 🙂
I wanted to make both a main meal and dessert and what better than Cannelloni and Cannoli? I knew I wanted to make spinach and ricotta cannelloni, so that was an easy choice. When it came to the Cannoli (which I have never even tried before, let alone made before) I wasn’t organised enough to find somewhere that actually stocked cannoli tubes or forms (metal tubes used to stick the pastry together, which is then placed with the pastry into hot oil). I searched the internet and called stores around Sydney City and there was nothing to be found! Essential Ingredient said they normally stock them, but unfortunately they were out of stock too! (Not that I had much time to go and get them anyway). Guess I will put this on my birthday or Christmas list – along with a pastry bag, sugar thermometer and some new cookbooks 🙂 .
So I guess the quick version will of cannoli will have to do and I bought some pre-made brandy snap tubes. I’ve seen the majority of recipes using ricotta, although the pack suggested using whipped cream, so seeing as it was already not exactly what I wanted to make, I went with the cream version.
The spinach and ricotta cannelloni turned out lovely, with the tomato sauce a MUST! (even more could have been made). The cannoli was beautifully tasty, with sweet vanilla cream, chocolate and pistachios.
2 packets lasagne sheets (16 sheets altogether)
3 packets finely chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained
½ cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
salt and pepper
2 cups grated cheese or mozzarella cheese
3 onions, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 x 800g can diced or crushed tomatoes
5 tablespoons tomato paste
Make the tomato sauce by sautéing onions in oil in a large saucepan heated over medium heat. Once onions soften and become translucent, 5-10 minutes, add the garlic and stir for a minute. Add tomatoes, stir then add salt, sugar and tomato paste. Cook for 5-10 minutes over medium heat until reduced slightly. Blend in a food processor or with a hand blender in the saucepan. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl mix ricotta, spinach, parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, salt and pepper.
Pour a third to half the tomato sauce into two lightly greased lasagne dishes. Preheat oven to 180°C.
Lay each lasagne sheet out on a clean bench or board (you may cut the lasagne sheets in half if you want less pasta). Add a spoonful or two of tomato sauce onto the lasagne sheet and spread around the middle, missing the rolling ends. Sprinkle with some grated cheese. Add a large amount of spinach and ricotta mix onto the short edge of the sheet, making it evenly distributed. Roll up to form a tube and place on top of the tomato sauce with the loose edge down.
Continue with remaining lasagne sheets, until all mixture is used up. Place the remaining tomato sauce on top of the cannelloni and sprinkle with cheese. Cook in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until browning on top. Serve with salad or herb bread.
1 packet (approximately 8 ) brandy snap tubes or cannoli tubes
150ml thickened cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon caster sugar
¼ cup pistachios, chopped
100g chocolate, chopped
Beat thickened cream with vanilla and sugar until medium peaks form. Fold in chopped pistachios and chocolate and place in pastry bag with star nozzle (or place in cake decorating bag without nozzle attached. Pipe into tubes and dust with icing sugar or icing mixture. Serve very soon after piped.
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