As part of my challenge to do 52 things in 52 weeks, I will be trying out a new recipe each month. Some will be from recipe books, others will be something I’ve pulled together myself. This month I decided to combine two Italian favourites – stuffed cannelloni and Bolognese – but, also in keeping with part of my challenge, I thought I’d make it vegetarian. There’s cheese involved, so it’s not vegan, but there is no meant or fish in this dish.
Vegetarian stuffed cannelloni with Bolognese
Serves 2 – 3
- 1 small onion
- 2 large garlic cloves (cloves, not bulbs!)
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 can plum tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs (or use fresh herbs if you have them)
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 large carrot (grated)
- 150g Quorn mince (or other vegetarian mince)
- 1/2 medium courgette
- 4 large mushrooms
- 50g fresh spinach
- 2 – 3 dried cannelloni tubes per person
- 200g cream cheese (I used Philadelphia Extra Light)
- 50g cheddar (grated)
- Dice the onion and crush the garlic. Sauté in the oil until the garlic turns the colour of cappuccino.
- Remove half the onion and garlic and set aside into a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, balsamic vinegar, herbs, cayenne pepper and grated carrot to the pan and stir well.
- Add the Quorn mince, the courgette, and half the mushrooms and stir well. You may need to add a little water and then let the sauce reduce and thicken.
- Dice the remaining mushroom finely and add to the onion and garlic you set aside earlier.
- Wilt the spinach (I rinse it and put it in a plastic bowl, then put it in the microwave for about a minute), then finely slice it and add it to the onions, garlic and mushroom. Stir in the cream cheese.
- Stuff the cream cheese mixture into the cannelloni tubes (use your fingers – it’s messy, but much easier!), and lay them in a baking dish.
- Pour the Bolognese sauce over the stuffed cannelloni tubes, then sprinkle the grated cheddar over the top. Sprinkle a little more dried mixed herbs on top if you like.
- Bake in the oven at 200C for approximately 30 minutes, until the pasta is cooked through and the cheese is melted and golden.
- Serve alone or with mixed salad and garlic bread.
I love adding grated carrot to my tomato sauces – it’s a great way of getting extra veg into Tadpole without him realising it. Sometimes I grate the courgettes too, and, if I think I can get away with it, puree the mushrooms. Of course, if your kids like chunky vegetables you can leave them chunky, but the grated carrot melts away into the sauce making it silky smooth and delicious!
If you try this recipe, please let me know what you thought of it. And if you made any changes, again, I’d love to know what they were and how it turned out!