Spinach and Tofu Ricotta Cannelloni

Share something vegan (and delicious, duh!) with a non-vegan.

As I start to have less and less time to keep up with MoFo, I have fallen back on some old favourites to get me through the days. Besides, for some time I have been meaning to revisit some older posts to give them a bit of a revamp – since I have gotten a new camera and learned a little more about taking nicer photos. Don’t worry, I don’t plan to delete the old gems, that would be like Silverchair being embarrassed of their Frogstomp songs (I’m pretty sure they said they were).

Despite trying to revamp it I still was not happy with how it came out – turns out it is bloody hard to make cannelloni look good, particularly when under time constraints. Oh well.

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I didn’t share this with a non-vegan today, but I have many times before. I’m going to quote my original cannelloni blog post now as it seems to fit:

“This is one of my favourite meals to cook when people are coming over for dinner, as it’s so easy to do a big pan full to share. It’s also a go-to when cooking for meat lovers as it never fails to impress – it’s one of those ‘see how normal/delicious vegan food is?!?’ dishes. It takes a bit of time to prepare, but is totally worth it.”

Spinach and Tofu Ricotta Cannelloni
(serves 6-8)

1½ cups button mushrooms, diced
½ tsp oil
1 cup walnuts
250g frozen spinach
1½ boxes cannelloni tubes (the type that don’t need pre-cooking)
Vegan cheese, to sprinkle on top (optional)

Sauce:
½ tsp oil
1 medium brown onion, diced finely
3 cloves garlic, minced
600g crushed tomatoes (or equivalent fresh)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
Handful fresh basil, torn
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
Salt and pepper

Tofu ricotta:
450g firm tofu
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp lemon juice
½ cup nutritional yeast
Handful of basil, torn
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 200C.

Toast the walnuts in a pan over low heat, then chop finely and set aside.

Saute the mushrooms over medium heat in ½ tsp oil for about 3-5 minutes until soft, and set aside.

Defrost spinach and set aside.

For the sauce, saute onions in ½ tsp oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and stir in tomato paste, basil and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for five minutes, then take off heat. From here, you can whizz up the sauce in a blender/with a stick blender if you’d like a smooth consistency, or else leave it chunky.

For the tofu ricotta, crumbled the tofu with your hands into a large bowl. Don’t worry about pressing any liquid out of it, as a wetter mix is better for to ensure the pasta tubes to cook. Add garlic, oil, lemon juice, yeast flakes and basil and stir well. Add mushrooms, walnuts and spinach and mix through. Taste for seasoning.

To assemble, spread a few spoonfuls of the tomato sauce across the bottom of a large baking dish. This is important as the dry cannelloni tubes need to come in contact with some moisture on all sides to ensure they cook properly.

Fill tubes with tofu mix, however you please. I used to use a butter knife to poke it in but these days I just get my hands dirty as I find it’s quicker and easier. Lay the tubes side by side in the dish

Cover with remaining sauce, and poke a knife between each tube to allow a bit of sauce to seep in between them. Pop in the oven to cook according to packet directions. I like to cook mine for about 30 minutes, add cheese and cook for a further 15-20 minutes until tubes are tender.

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broccoliweb

17 thoughts on “Spinach and Tofu Ricotta Cannelloni

    1. Yay, thanks and am glad all enjoyed it! I know – but if they want to enjoy the hard work they can wait a few extra minutes (or twenty…)

  1. These look amazing! I always think oven dishes like these are tricky to photograph because mine often come out looking like one solid block of stuff, but your photos show both the fillings and the top layer, and everything looks so delicious. I’ve never made cannelloni and I would definitely be impressed if someone made these for me.

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