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Spinach and Almond Ricotta Cannelloni

Serves 6

Ingredients
Spinach and Almond Ricotta Cannelloni

For the almond ricotta:

  • 420g (3 cups) blanched almonds (no need to soak)
  • 235ml (1 cup) cold water
  • 15g (⅓ cup) nutritional yeast
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

For the tomato and basil sauce:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 500g (generous 2 cups) passata
  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp dried Italian herbs
  • 120ml (½ cup) red wine
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar, any type
  • Large handful fresh basil
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

For the cheese topping:

  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 small onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 15g (⅓ cup) nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 150g (1 cup) cashews, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes
  • 2 tsp tapioca starch
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled

For the almond parmesan:

  • 140g (½ cup) whole almonds
  • 11g (¼ cup) nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

To make the cannelloni:

  • 360g (16) canneloni tubes
  • 250g (generous 1 cup) fresh or frozen spinach
  • A large baking dish
  • A piping bag or freezer food bag

Method

  1. Place the ingredients for the parmesan into a blender and pulse until a crumbly texture forms, then set aside.
  2. Make the almond ricotta by adding all the ingredients to a highperformance blender and process until smooth, then set aside.
  3. In a large pan, heat the oil and gently sweat the onions with a pinch of salt for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a minute before adding the vinegar and wine. Let this bubble and reduce slightly for a few minutes.
  4. Add the rest of the tomato sauce ingredients to the pan, reserving half of the basil to add at the end. Bring to a simmer and leave to cook gently for 30 minutes.
  5. Cook or defrost the spinach in a microwave until wilted. Transfer to clean kitchen towels and squeeze out the excess water. Chop the spinach and mix with the ricotta, along with 3 tablespoons almond parmesan and some salt and pepper.
  6. Fill a piping bag or freezer bag with the spinach and ricotta mix, snip off the corner and use this to fill all 16 cannelloni tubes.
  7. For the cheese sauce, boil the potato, carrots and onion for 10 minutes or until tender. Drain, reserving 240ml (1 cup) of the cooking liquid.
  8. Add the cooked vegetables to a clean blender along with the drained cashews and the rest of the ingredients, including the reserved water. Process until smooth and silky. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  9. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/ Gas 4. Remove the large basil sprig from the tomato sauce and add the remaining fresh basil, finely chopped.
  10. Add a layer of tomato and basil sauce to the bottom of the roasting dish, followed by half the filled cannelloni tubes. Add another layer of tomato sauce, followed by the remaining cannelloni. Top with the final layer of tomato sauce and pour over the cheese topping. Sprinkle with parmesan and transfer to the oven.
  11. Bake for 35-45 minutes and leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving with a rocket salad.

Per serving (537g) Calories: 1109, Carbohydrates: 85.6g, Sugars: 19.2g, Salt: 1.7g, Fat: 67.8g, Saturates: 6.9g, Protein: 40.1g

Taken from October 2018 (Issue 43) Vegan Life Magazine

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