Sunday, 15 April 2007

Spinach and Corn Cannelloni


One of my creations - Spicy Spinach and Corn Cannelloni in a homemade spicy Tomato sauce. I make this often, especially when I crave an Italian dinner.

Though I like to go out for such meals, it can be often trying to eat out with 2 small ones in tow. I don't know what happens to them when we go to a restaurant, its like they change their personalities 360 degrees. Paper Napkins and crayons up the nose, the constant bickering between the two boys, Spaghetti going into their ears instead of their little mouths as they twirl it around the forks etc etc....can get too much for me. So, I try and put off going out to eat as much as I can...I'll just have to wait until they are a bit older. So..I improvise and make such meals at home. Here is the recipe:

  • 1 packet - Oven ready Cannelloni ( Very convenient)
  • For the sauce: 3-4 cans Italian Plum tomatoes, 1 large red onion,1 small green pepper, 5-6 cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp-oregano, 2-3 leaves of Fresh Basil, Salt, Cracked black pepper, Chili flakes, and a tbsp of sugar to balance the tartness of the tomatoes, Olive Oil - 1 tbsp.
  • For the Filling: 2 bunches of spinach- washed and chopped, 1 cup of corn, 1- red onion-chopped, 2 tomatoes, 1 tbsp-paprika, 1 tbsp-chili powder, 2 tbsp- Taco seasoning Mix, Salt,Pepper to taste. Olive Oil - 1 tsp
  • Shredded Italian and Cheddar blend of cheeses to top off the pasta.
  • Parmesan Cheese
Make the sauce first: Heat the oil in a deep pot. Add the chopped garlic, onions and green pepper. Saute till soft. Add the tomatoes and the seasonings. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and let the sauce simmer as long as you can. I let mine simmer for an hour. Towards the end, give it a whirl with a hand-held blender. Add the fresh basil at this point, and let simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Set aside.

Make the filling: Saute onions in the oil. Add the tomatoes, corn and spinach. Mix well, add the seasonings...be generous with the taco seasoning, this adds a wonderful flavor to the mixture.
Cool and set aside.

Assemble the Pasta: Spread the Pasta sauce in a pan. Fill each Cannelloni cavity with the Spinach and Corn mixture. Use a small spoon, it will make it easier. Fill all the Cannelloni this way and put them in the Sauce mixture. You can set this aside for half an hour before baking so that the Oven ready Cannelloni can get soft.

When ready to bake,layer some more sauce on top to completely cover the pasta. Sprinkle the cheeses on top.
Bake at 350F, in the center of the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the cheese melts and pasta is completely soft. Serve hot with some garlic bread, and a side salad for a complete meal. Here is another look.... enjoy!

Upcoming Post Preview: Recipe for Sugar High Friday Event hosted by the lovely Monisha of Coconut Chutney.

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