Cannelloni is one of my favourite childhood dishes. My mother would make it in large batches and freeze it for easy dinners. It’s easy, yet delicious and is hearty enough to warm you up on a cold winters night without leaving you with a heavy feeling.
500g ricotta cheese
300g frozen chopped spinach, thawed*
300g ground turkey
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbs garlic
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
2 tbs fresh parsley, finely chopped
200g box oven-ready cannelloni**
2 650ml jars of pasta sauce***
Special equipment: 2 9×9 inch baking pans (1 9×13 inch pan can be substituted)
*Thaw spinach in a colander. After spinach is thawed, drain by pressing spinach against the walls of a colander to squeeze out as much water as possible.
**Make sure you get the “oven-ready” cannelloni pastas. If you get the regular cannelloni, you will need to boil the pasta before starting.
***Don’t use chunky pasta sauce, as it will not have enough liquid. I personally prefer the Classico Fire-roasted Tomato & Garlic Pasta Sauce.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Cook the ground turkey with all of the spices in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir constantly to prevent any large pieces from forming. Once fully cooked (you haven’t seen any pink meat for a few minutes), drain any excess liquid.
In a large bowl mix the cooked turkey, drained spinach and ricotta in a bowl until fully incorporated. Meanwhile, place about 1/3 a jar of pasta sauce in the bottom each of the 2 9×9 inch baking pans.
Stuff each cannelloni with the turkey mixture, being careful not to crack the pasta. Stuff as full as you can while keeping the pasta intact. Lay each stuffed cannelloni in two lines in the 9×9 inch baking pan. Once one pan is full, start filling the other pan.
Once all of the cannelloni have been filled and placed in the pans, divide the sauce between the two pans and evenly coat all of the pasta.
Bake for approximately 45 mins or until pasta is soft. Serve 2-3 cannelloni per a person. Serve topped with freshly grated parmesan.
When freezing either divide into individual serving sizes or freeze the whole dish. If freezing the whole dish, reheat in a 200F oven for 1/2 hour. Add 1/2 jar of pasta sauce when reheating to add extra moisture.