Spinach and ricotta cannelloni

Spinach and ricotta cannelloni

If we didn’t judge we wouldn’t survive. Somehow, this was quite a revelation to me this week.  To judge is to make considered decisions or come to sensible conclusions…we indeed wouldn’t survive if we didn’t do this on a daily basis.

I suppose what I feel I am struggling with is the negative connotation with judgement, where I feel judged about something that I do. So after a couple of situations this week where I felt judged, the word kept popping into my head. So clearly there was something there for me to work on!

We all have ideas, opinions and standards that we live by that impact how we bring up our kids, treat ourselves or behave with others.  So if how we deal with a situation is different to someone else, why do we analyse what that person thinks about how we dealt with that situation.

If I were listening to a friend explaining the situation I’d normally be empathetic, supportive and objective, more so than I am with myself.  I think we can be our own harshest critics. But what I have realised is that whilst I feel like I am being judged for my actions, I am actually the one who is making the judgement on them and what they are thinking about me. We can’t always work out what goes on in other peoples heads, and we won’t always know. Last week the presenter’s opinion in my interview about stay at home mums being an important role, and that it should be celebrated was quite a surprise, and as a good friend pointed out, not an opinion that we would have expected. My own judgement of never conventionally going back to work feeling like something to be apologised for, not celebrated, was clouding that viewpoint!

So this week, please don’t judge this recipe because it doesn’t look fancy or have restaurant style presentation!  It is simple, honest and delicious (and naturally as fuss-free as possible!) Please give it some time and love and it will be good to you too!

Remember to see more of the Fuss Free Foodie, follow my Fuss Free Foodie FB page, especially as I will be keeping you updated on my kitchen being knocked down and rebuilt!  Also, my week in pictures Instagram and all my videos in one place on YouTube. Have a great weekend….I’m off to the Foodies Festival

Spinach and ricotta cannelloni

Serves 4

Preheat the oven 180℃

  • 500g frozen spinach
  • 1 box of cannelloni (approx 18 tubes)
  • 2 pots of ricotta (250g each)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 75g grated Parmesan, plus 25-30g for the top
  • 3 cans of plum tomatoes
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 heaped tbsps tomato puree
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 15 rasps of nutmeg
  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • Black pepper and salt
  • Medium sized freezer bag, with 1 corner cut off (1.5cm)
  1. Leave the spinach out overnight to defrost.
  2. To make the sauce: Add 2 tbsp of oil into a large saucepan on a medium heat.  When warm, add the chopped garlic and fry gently, but do not let it go golden or burn.  If it is getting too hot take it off the heat.  Chop the plum tomatoes up in the can, and add to the pan along with the puree. Rinse the cans out with a little water, season with the sugar, salt and pepper. Simmer for 45 mins-1 hour and blitz smooth.
  3. To make the filling: Put the spinach into a tea towel, twist the sides together and squeeze out all the excess water.  Place the drained spinach into a large bowl. Add the ricotta, egg yolk, grated Parmesan, salt and pepper and mix. Set aside in the fridge until you are ready to build!
  4. Build the cannelloni: Have an ovenproof dish approx. 30cm by 30cm. Cover the bottom of the dish with the tomato sauce, about 1cm deep.
  5. Put half of the cannelloni mixture into the freezer bag, twist the top round so that it’s like a piping bag, and proceed to fill the cannelloni tubes with the mixture. I find filling half from one end, then filling half from the other to meet it in the middle.  Check for air pockets by pressing the mixture into the tube with your finger.
  6. Line up the tubes on top of the tomato sauce, leaving a small gap in between, until the dish is full. Cover the tubes with the rest of the tomato sauce, and sprinkle over the rest of the Parmesan.
  7. Bake in the oven for 45-1hr minutes.
  8. Serve with a salad of your choice and enjoy!

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