Can­nel­loni filled with spinach, creamy ri­cotta and thyme (serves 4)

Friday - - Leisure -

Prep time: 15 mins Bak­ing time: 45 mins

1 tbsp olive oil 400g chopped spinach salt and pep­per pinch of nut­meg 2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme 500g ri­cotta cheese 15 can­nel­loni tubes 200g fresh tomato sauce 200g béchamel sauce* 2 roasted red bell pep­pers, cubed 200g grated moz­zarella

1 To pre­pare the spinach fill­ing, heat olive oil in a deep fry­ing pan over medium heat. Add spinach and cook un­til leaves are wilted and soft. Turn the heat to high to evap­o­rate any liq­uid re­leased from the spinach. Stir in salt, pep­per, nut­meg and thyme. Take the mix­ture off the heat and keep aside to let it cool. Once cool, mix in ri­cotta cheese and keep aside.

2 Pre­heat the oven at 180°C. Fill the can­nel­loni tubes with the spinach and cheese mix­ture.

3 To as­sem­ble, spoon about 50ml of tomato sauce at the base of a large rec­tan­gu­lar bak­ing dish. Place all the can­nel­loni tubes in a sin­gle layer on the tomato sauce. Pour the re­main­ing tomato sauce over, en­sur­ing that it cov­ers the can­nel­loni tubes and then pour béchamel over it. Fi­nally add bell pep­pers and cheese.

3 Place it in the pre­heated oven. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40-45 min­utes. Once baked, re­move from the oven and al­low it to rest for 15 min­utes be­fore serv­ing.

To make béchamel sauce, heat a heavy saucepan and melt 50g but­ter. On low heat, stir in 3 tbsp flour with a wire whisk, stir­ring con­stantly. Grad­u­ally stir in 350ml milk, whisk­ing con­stantly. Cook over low heat for 3-5 more min­utes un­til sauce be­gins to thicken and is cooked. Sea­son with salt, pep­per and a pinch of nut­meg.

SIL­VENA SAYS: If you don’t have can­nel­loni tubes, use pasta sheets. Just spoon the fill­ing in the cen­tre of a sheet and roll it up

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