Many, many years ago I decided to try a pasta dish using cannelloni. It was a disaster. I bought the dried cannelloni noodles, cooked them following the recipe then stuffed them. It was the stuffing part that put me over the edge. It didn’t matter how careful I was I ended up with just about each cannelloni splitting somewhere! I found a different recipe that I love and have been making it for years. A bit more work but I wasn’t pulling my hair out and swearing!
I discovered the recipe in the cookbook that I bought in 1984 ‘The Harrowsmith Pasta Cookbook.’
Three Cheese and Spinach Cannelloni
The secret is making and using crepes instead of noodles. To save on time buy a hearty tomato pasta sauce. You can switch spinach with Swiss chard or kale or beet tops. Use a good Parmesan cheese, it does make a difference in flavour.
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water
Combine eggs, flour, salt and water in a blender. Blend and then let sit 30 minutes or longer in the fridge.
Grease and heat an 8-inch skillet or a crepe pan. Pour in 1/4 cup of batter rotating skillet quickly to spread batter evenly. Cook over medium heat until top is dry or flip half way through and lightly brown one side. Cool on a wire rack, then stack with wax paper between crepes.
2 lbs ricotta cheese
1/2 lb mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup chopped frozen spinach thawed and drained
4 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2-3 cups tomato sauce
For the filling, combine all remaining ingredients except 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and tomato sauce. Blend well. Spread about 1/4 cup filling down the centre of each crepe and roll up. You can roll it up like a cigar or roll it up tucking the ends in like a package. Place completed rolls, seam side down, in a shallow casserole dish making two layers if necessary. Top with tomato sauce and remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. Serves 8.