Spinach and feta cannelloni.

Pasta is a firm favourite in my house and with such a range of high quality dry pasta available it’s excellent fast food when time is precious or if you’re not in a cooking mood. Pasta can also be used as a sneaky way of getting vegetables into fussy children – if you blend them and add to tomatoes, lots of nutritional goodness can be consumed with ease!
I like the de cecco pasta range – available in most supermarkets. Also, every time I am up in Fermanagh I pop into Asda and stock up on their excellent range of organic, whole-wheat pastas – incredible value. Here’s hoping the supermarkets here are finally taking note that high quality and lower prices can go hand in hand.

(serves 6)

500g of fresh spinach
300g of feta cheese, roughly chopped
1 egg beaten
18 cannelloni tubes
1 onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
A handful of black olives stoned and roughly chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon of oregano
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
Fresh parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 200ºc. Lightly oil a large roasting dish and set aside. Wash the spinach and place in a pan, using only the water left on the leaves after washing, cook for a couple of minutes until the spinach wilts. Remove from the heat and drain any excess liquid from the spinach – press the spinach with the back of a spoon to ensure all water has completely drained. Chop the spinach coursely and place in a large bowl. Add the feta, egg and the nutmeg, mix well and season with black pepper. Place the mixture into a sandwich bag and cut off one corner of the bag (the cheat’s piping bag!). Pipe the mixture into each cannelloni tube. Arrange the cannelloni in a single layer in the roasting dish. In a frying pan gently fry the garlic and onion until soft, add the herbs, olives, salt, pepper and tomatoes. Simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce has slightly thickened. Pour the sauce over the cannelloni, cover with foil and cook for 35 – 40 minutes until the cannelloni is tender. Add a generous grating of fresh parmesan before serving.

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