Spinach and Cottage Cheese Canneloni

Nothing screams green than the fresh, beautiful produce of our country. Homegrown or organic vegetables such as spinach taste entirely different as compared to their supermarket counterparts. In this recipe, we let the flavors of the spinach speak for themselves by carrying them in thin yet firm Canneloni pasta tubes and baking them in a delicately spiced béchamel sauce.

* Serves: 2-3 *

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 tubes of De Cecco Canneloni
  • 1 bunch of fresh, organic spinach, roughly chopped
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1-2 teaspoons Olitalia Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 200 grams fresh soft cottage cheese or paneer, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
  • 1 and ½ cups milk
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black peppercorns, to taste
  • A pinch of powdered nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon buffalo mozzarella, torn
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese

Method:

  • Boil water in a large pot of water with a little salt and a few drops of Olitalia Extra Virgin Olive Oil. When it comes to the boil, add in the Canneloni tubes and cook for 4-5 minutes until just al dente.
  • Drain and hold under gently flowing cold water to stop the cooking process and to avoid sticking. Keep aside.
  • Heat the Olitalia Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a pan and add the garlic and onion. Sauté briefly until translucent.
  • Tip in the chopped spinach and toss until wilted. Add the crumbled cottage cheese or paneer and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well.
  • Fill the spinach mixture in an icing bag or plastic bag with a corner snipped off. Pipe the mixture into the cooked Canneloni tubes. Keep aside.
  • To make the béchamel sauce, sauté the butter and flour together in a heavy bottomed pan until fragrant. Add the milk and whisk well and cook on a medium flame until thickened. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and add the powdered nutmeg.
  • Arrange the filled Canneloni tubes in a greased baking dish. Pour the béchamel sauce over and sprinkle with the grated cheeses.
  • Bake in a preheated oven on the center rack for 10-15 minutes at 160 degrees centigrade or until golden as per your liking.
  • Serve hot.

Recipe Courtesy: Olive Tree Trading – An Online Gourmet Store