My hubby recently came home with a package of cannelloni pasta. They were the express kind, meaning I could put them in the oven without boiling them first. I was anxious to try them. In our house this year, we started doing ‘Meatless Mondays’, and I’m always looking for another way to eat my vegetables. Let me tell you, these were a little finicky to work with, but the end result was pretty darn tasty.
So the first thing I did was start with my spices in a small sauce pan. I melted a little bit of margarine in the pot, and then I added garlic, fresh basil (we have planters in our kitchen), and some parsley. I then threw in about half a cup of frozen spinach (I think… I use the Compliments brand, and it was three little balls of spinach). When that was ready, I put in one tub of cottage cheese, and some Parmesan cheese. Now for the tricky part: filling them.
If you have a better method of filling them, please leave me a message! I first laid down a good layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of my 9×13 pan to lay the cannelloni on. I then held the hollow noodle in one hand, using my palm to plug the bottom, while I used a spoon to put the cheese mixture in. Once it was full, I transferred it quickly to the pan. It made 18 filled tubes, which pretty much filled the pan, anyway. I then put a lot of spaghetti sauce over top. I used a whole bottle of Catelli Garden Selects. Once it was empty, I swirled a little water around in the bottle to get the rest of the sauce, and poured that over the top, too. That was I was sure to get enough liquid to soften up those noodles.
They got pretty good reviews from the family. If you are going to make them, they do take at least an hour to get ready. The prep was about 20 minutes, and then they cooked for at least 40. They’re a nice change from lasagna, though!