For the tomato sauce

For the topping

  • 2 x 250g tubs mascarpone
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 85g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated
  • 2 x 125g balls mozzarella, sliced

For the filling


  • STEP 1

    First make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the garlic for 1 min. Add the sugar, vinegar, tomatoes and some seasoning and simmer for 20 mins, stirring occasionally, until thick. Add the basil and divide the sauce between 2 or more shallow ovenproof dishes (see Tips for freezing, below). Set aside. Make a sauce by beating the mascarpone with the milk until smooth, season, then set aside.

  • STEP 2

    Put the spinach in a large colander and pour over a kettle of boiling water to wilt it (you may need to do this in batches). When cool enough to handle squeeze out the excess water. Roughly chop the spinach and mix in a large bowl with 100g Parmesan and ricotta. Season well with salt, pepper and the nutmeg.

  • STEP 3

    Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Using a piping bag or plastic food bag with the corner snipped off, squeeze the filling into the cannelloni tubes. Lay the tubes, side by side, on top of the tomato sauce and spoon over the mascarpone sauce. Top with Parmesan and mozzarella. You can now freeze the cannelloni, uncooked, or you can cook it first and then freeze. Bake for 30-35 mins until golden and bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 mins before serving.

Tips for how to make cannelloni

How to freeze cannelloni

Allow the cooked cannelloni to cool at room temperature before covering well, then freeze. Always freeze on the day you make it. You could freeze individual cooked portions in ovenproof dishes or foil trays. Simply reduce the cooking time slightly when re-heating.

How to defrost cannelloni

Defrost uncooked cannelloni in the fridge overnight, then cook as per the recipe.

To cook from frozen: Heat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3 and cook, covered with foil, for 1 hr 25 mins. Remove foil, turn the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and cook, uncovered, for 20-30 mins

Variations on spinach & ricotta cannelloni

  • Make the recipe healthier by doubling the quantity of tomato sauce. Use this to top the cannelloni instead of the creamy sauce.
  • Sprinkle with breadcrumbs for a satisfyingly crunchy topping.
  • To make it meaty, fill the cannelloni with a meat ragu or try adding some chopped fried bacon to the spinach mix.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, June 2010


Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating

A star rating of 4.4 out of 5.116 ratings