Usually made with a rich, full-fat cheese sauce, cannelloni can seem like an unhealthy option on a menu. However, by packing flavours into the tomato sauce and using a melting, oozing parmesan and cheddar mix on the top, you won’t be able to tell the difference. It will feel like just as much of an indulgence.
PREP TIME 15 MINS
COOKING TIME 35 MINS
CALS PER SERVING 460
VEGETARIAN and FREEZABLE
FOR THE PASTA
low-calorie cooking spray
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
15g parmesan (or vegetarian hard cheese)
8 cannelloni tubes
FOR THE SAUCE
500g carton passata
1/2 tsp garlic granules
1/2 tsp dried Italian herbs
FOR THE CHEESE TOP
70g reduced-fat mozzarella
20g reduced-fat cheddar, grated
sprinkle of smoked sweet paprika
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180Cfan/gas 6.
2. Spray a frying pan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Put the spinach in the pan, season with plenty of salt and pepper and cover with a lid. Cook for a minute or two until wilted, then drain well and set aside to cool.
3. In a bowl mix the ricotta, parmesan and cooked, drained spinach. Season well with salt and pepper then set aside.H Mix the passata in a bowl with the garlic granules and herbs, and season with salt and pepper. Pour half of the passata into a medium ovenproof dish.
4. Fill a piping bag with the ricotta and spinach mixture. There’s no need for a nozzle – just cut a decent-sized hole in the end. Otherwise you could fill the cannelloni using a sturdy plastic bag with the end cut off. Fill each cannelloni tube with the mixture, making sure not to over-fill them, otherwise you’ll run out of the mixture. Place the filled tubes on top of the sauce in the dish, then pour the remaining sauce over the top.
5. Tear the mozzarella into small pieces and scatter them, plus the grated cheddar, over the cannelloni, then sprinkle with a little paprika (just enough to add colour).
6. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the tubes are soft and the cheese is melted and browned. Serve warm.
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