Sunday, February 8, 2009

leek, spinach and ricotta cannelloni

Leeks are often grown in sandy soil and they can, at times, be a little tedious to clean thoroughly. I’ve found the best way to do this is to pare back the first two or three layers and cut the top off where the tender white part ends. With a sharp knife, starting at the top, make an incision down the leek, about 4-5cm long, throgh at least three or four layers. Make another two or three incisions, working around the top of the leek. Fill a bowl with cold water, place the cut end of the leek in the bowl and shake vigorously.

what you need
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 large leeks, cleaned, washed and cut into 1/2cm rounds
2 garlic cloves, minced
250g spinach, washed, cooked and drained well
250g ricotta
100g grated parmesan
Salt and pepper
8 cannelloni sheets (make your
own or buy ready made tubes)
1 cup leek, tomato and chilli
sauce (recipe below)
Extra parmesan to serve

what to do
Heat olive oil in a pan and gently fry leeks and garlic until soft. Roughly chop spinach and mix in a bowl with ricotta, cooked leeks and parmesan.
Season to taste. Cut sheets of pasta into 12 rectangles 6cm by 10cm.
Cook immediately in boiling, salted water.
Place cooked sheets on wet tea towels. Spoon ricotta mixture on each sheet of pasta and roll into a log. Spoon some tomato sauce on bottom of a baking dish.
Arrange cannelloni in dish and spread more tomato sauce on top. Season and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 15 minutes.
Serve straight from oven with more grated parmesan

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