I blame this on Ken at Living the life in Saint Aigan. A couple of weeks ago, Ken posted that he had made goat cheese cannelloni. I was so hungry after seeing his post that I wanted to make something similar.I made this recipe twice now in the past two weeks.
I picked up some goat cheese at Costco recently. It is not as good as the fresh goat cheese you can get in France but for about $7.00 US for two 11oz logs - it is a steal! It has also been awhile since I made fresh pasta.
One of my favorite cookbooks is Field of Greens by Annie Somerville. The vegetarian recipes are wonderful. I decided to make the Cannelloni with Spinach, Goat cheese and Roasted Garlic-Tomato Sauce. I recommend making on a weekend or a day where you have time. It is not hard but it does have several steps so set aside an afternoon to make this delicious recipe. I reduced the quantities to make it for four services but I'll post it for serving six.
Cannelloni with Spinach, Goat Cheese and Roasted Garlic-Tomato Sauce
Adapted from Fields of Greens
Roasted Garlic-Tomato Sauce
1 head of roasted garlic
1 1/2 TBS EVOO
3 cups canned tomatoes with juice
1/2 cup onion diced
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 bay leaf
Mash 1/2 of the head of roasted garlic. Heat olive oil in saucepan and add the onion, 1/2 tsp salt and a few pinches of pepper; saute over medium heat for 5 minutes. When the onion is soft, add the sherry and gay leaf and simmer for 1 or 2 minutes until the pan is nearly dry. Add the tomato and mashed roasted garlic. (You can also puree the tomatoes and garlic). and a pinch more of salt. Simmer, uncovered, over low heat for 30 minutes.
1 1/2 TBS EVOO
1 cup red onion diced
Salt and pepper
4 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 large bunches of spinach, stems removed and leaves washed about 16 cups (note: I used a package of Fresh Express Spinach - removing a few of the larger stems)
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted (original recipe called for walnuts)
1/4 cup chopped herbs, marjoram, thyme, chives, and parsley
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
2 oz Parmesan cheese, about 1 cup
2 oz mild goat cheese
Heat 1 TBS olive oil in skillet. Add the onions, 1/2 tsp salt and a few pinches peppers; Saute over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add half of the garlic and saute until the onions are soft 2-3 minutes. Transfer to bowl
heat the remaining 1/2 tbs olive oil in skillet and quickly wilt the spinach over medium high heat with 1/2 tsp salt, a few pinches of pepper and the remaining garlic. Remove the spinach from the heat, drain and cools. Squeeze out the excess moisture and coarsely chop.
Add the spinach to the onion along with the pine nuts. Add the herbs.
In another bowl, stir together the ricotta and egg. Add half of the Parmesan cheese with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. Combine with the spinach and onions and crumble in the goat cheese.
Assembling the Cannelloni
2 fresh pasta sheets (1 batch of fresh pasta - 3/4 cup flour to 1 egg will make 8 cannelloni)
Cut the pasta sheets into 12 4 inches squares or comparable size to accommodate the sheets.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lay the past squares on a work surface and spread 1/4 cup of the filling along the edge of each square. Roll loosely.
Ladle 1 1/2 cup tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9 by13 inch baking dish. Place the cannello9ni close together in the dish. seam side down, and ladle the remaining sauce over until all the past is covered with sauce.
Cover and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with reserved Parmesan and serve.
Roasted Garlic Tomato Sauce