There are times when you want to cook something tasty, but don’t want to slave over the stove making sauces and the like. This is a good dish that you can make up pretty quickly with the illusion you have been slaving away at it all day. Just make sure you test for seasoning. If of course you don’t want to cheat with the bechamel sauce then by all means make you own. I made it this way, to help a lady who gets in a blind panic making sauces. She also hates the frozen ready meal options of this dish that are often available. I agree with her that the frozen ready made taste, is just not the same as a good homemade version!
500g ricotta cheese
150g spinach leaves, chopped
2tbsp roughly chopped fresh basil
1 clove garlic, crushed
6 sheets fresh (not dry) lasagne
500ml shop-bought béchamel sauce (or you can make your own)
50g freshly grated Parmesan – you can use vegetarian variation if you wish.
Heat the oven to 200ºC. Put the ricotta into a bowl and break it up with a fork. Add the spinach, basil and garlic and mix well. Sprinkle with nutmeg and season well with salt and ground black pepper.
Cut each fresh lasagne sheet in half (if the large sheets). Spread 2-3tbsp of the ricotta and spinach mixture down the centre of each then roll into a tube, ensure the edges overlap slightly.
Spread a layer of béchamel sauce over the base of an ovenproof dish Place the cannelloni tubes with the seam-side down, in a single layer on the dish. Pour over the rest of the béchamel sauce and then sprinkle the freshly grated Parmesan over the top. Bake the cannelloni in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the pasta is tender.
I love to serve this with a crisp green salad.