Baby Led Weaning

Growing healthy babies with healthy appetites

The Quickest Cannelloni in the World

Someone on Mumsnet posted this recipe with feta cheese but hot feta makes me heave… Anyway, it reminded me of an ancient WeightWatchers recipe my mum used to make and honest injun, it’s really nice. Plus it takes 5 minutes to prepare – hooooo-zah!

Lasagne strips
1 big tub of full-fat cottage cheese
One or two tins of chopped tomatoes, dependent on how big your dish
Bag of spinach
Nutmeg to grate
Some more cheese, whatever you’ve got. Mozzarella would be swish, grated cheddar fine.

The first thing you have to do is work out approximately how many bits of lasagne you’ll need. Rather than using bits of cannelloni which are a pain to find and tend to make it home from the supermarket in shards, you’ll be rolling up your lasagne pieces lengthways. So work it out, folks. I do mine in a dish that’s about 25cm square, so that’s 10 bits of lasagne.

Pour some boiling water into a bowl and put in the lasagne. It’s better if you drop in a bit of olive oil and fan them out a bit as sometimes they can stick together. Leave for 5 minutes. (Post Script: Bear in mind, as has been demonstrated below in the comments section that the pasta would like to stick together and coagulate into a big old lasagne brick. You must fight against this, hence the oil and the fanning. Or use a shallow dish so that you can give the lasagne a bit of space. Or just keep an eye on it, so that you can give it a swoosh if it looks like it’s going to stick. I’m making this sound a lot more complicated than it is, amn’t I? [sighs])

Mix the cottage cheese and finely chopped spinach (you’ll probably need less than a bag, but it’s up to you) and grate some nutmeg in as well. Don’t be too horrified if there seems to be tons of spinach and not much cheese, the spinach disappears. I should say that you are also at libery to make this recipe with ricotta cheese, which would be more correct. But I tend to keep cottage cheese in the house and it behaves much the same as ricotta, to be honest.

Here’s where it’s up to you what to do next… on the Mumsnet recipe they just spread out the mixture onto the pasta and rolled it up like a swiss roll, which is beyond easy. I put a blob at the end then rolled it up to make a tube and then jammed some more in each end.

Whichever method you use, put them in the dish and then cover with a tin of chopped tomatoes. Or two, if you think that you need the extra.

Lob some mozzarella or grated cheese on top and then stick it in the oven for about half-an-hour. I sliced up the cannelloni and put them out for Babybear and she loved stuffing them into her mouth. As did her father into his.

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4 Responses to “The Quickest Cannelloni in the World”

  1. Jo B says:

    Long story but have just bought a new freezer after only having a small countertop one for years. Was saying to Hubby I remember I used to buy a lot of frozen spinach and I couldn’t remember why – THIS recipe is why! I used to use canneloni tubes and stuff them with a teaspoon which is a bit fiddly but this was one of our regular evening meals. Will have to remake it! Yum! Even think youngest (who wasn’t born then and is pickier than his brother) would eat it!

  2. Jahane says:

    If you do want to use cannelloni tubes to save the hassle of pre softening lasagne sheets, an easy trick to stuff them quickly is to load the spinach and cheese into a food bag and snip off the corner, then pipe each one full. Much faster than using a spoon and ensures plenty of lovely filling in each. You’ll get a bit of mess on your hands doing it that way but we’re all pretty used to mess now eh?!

  3. Jenni says:

    Hello – how hot should the oven be please? (sorry to ask, but I’m just not a very good cook :-( ) x

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