Impromtu Cannelloni


Turn on the Scottish news at the moment and the main story is all about the impending fuel shortage in the country.  Workers at our main refinery have been striking recently over pension plans and as a result petrol, diesel, heating oil, etc are not being shipped to outlets as per usual.  What the public do not seem to realise is that Scotland is suffering from another shortage: pasta machines.

Seriously, I have been to three shops in the last week trying to buy one and each time have been told that they are currenly unavailable and to check back in June.  June!  Those of you in large cities may be thinking: try another shop.  This is Inverness though.  That three places supply pasta machines at all is pretty good going.  😉 

Anyway, enough whinging for my lack of pasta machine was rather fortuitous in the end, resulting in a cracking impromtu cannelloni.  Let me explain…

On Sunday I decided to admit pasta machine defeat and to try hand-rolling instead.  I was not successful.  My plan had been to make spinach and ricotta stuffed ravioli and the filling had already been prepared.  After realising that I was failing to roll the pasta to the required thinness I gave up on the idea, put the stuffing in the fridge and had pasta alla puttanesca for dinner instead (more about that next week).  Then this evening I came home from a spinnning class (as in the exercise bike fitness class rather than wool making) and spied the green and white fluffy mixture.  It screamed CANNELLONI at me!!  And so that’s what I made.




The end result was suprisingly delicious. Though I adore bechamel sauce and though it is essential in classic cannelloni, I omitted it from this dish as I wanted it to be light.  

The following amounts are imprecise.  This is the first time I made this and, frankly, I wasn’t paying that much attention. 

Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni

(for four)

250g ricotta

500g spinach

Pinch of nutmeg


8 sheets of lasagne

500g cherry tomatoes (halved)

300ml passata

Handful of basil leaves, torn

Parmesan shavings to serve

  • In a large covered pan wilt the spinach with just a sprinkling of water.  Drain.  Once cool squeeze out all the moisture and chop the spinach finely.
  • Add the spinach, nutmeg and seasoning to the ricotta.  Combine and season well.
  • Spoon the ricotta mixture onto the sheets of lasagne and roll up like a cigar. 
  • Place into a snug fitting shallow casserole dish with some seasoned cherry tomatoes and basil lining the bottom.
  • Add the rest of the cherry tomatoes and the passata on top of the rolled pasta and bake in a 190oC preheated oven for 30 mins.
  • Serve with parmesan shavings.


I have just realised that this calcium rich dish is a perfect entry for Susan’s Beautiful Bones event, alerting women to the risks of osteoperosis.  All entries to the event are to be calcium rich to help protect our beautiful bones. 



16 thoughts on “Impromtu Cannelloni

  1. Not sure what passata is like, but will go check it out when I exit your site! This looks wonderful Wendy and reminds me of the filling I use for stuffed pasta shells, except I add sauted mushrooms to mine.
    You are lucky to have 3 places to find pasta machines, I have one! But isn’t it funny when you really want something it is always out of stock! I will see an item in a store for months, then I think, wow, I need that – no you don’t! Time to hit the internet and go shopping!

  2. They look delidous. I often eat the filling without the past cover and in that way they are called “gnocchi gnudi” that is to say “naked gnocchi” . Really good darling
    Have a nice day 😛

  3. I too have had no success with rolling pasta by hand, I can do it but it takes about an hour. Life’s definitely too short! Your filling looks really delicious, nice and light as you say.

  4. I recently bought a pasta machine—-that failed to work. My back up option was also to hand roll. Where was the rolling pin? Know where to be seen. I ended up using a bottle of wine as an improptu rolling device. I should have made sure it was empty first- it ended up on the floor, smashed and no wine left to enjoy with the pasta 😦

  5. Deb – Pasatta is just loose tomato sauce. Thicker than tomato juice, thinner than normal pasta sauce.

    Silvia Magnolia – The gnocchi gnudi sound wonderful. Will definitely try them out some time. 🙂

    Jules – Who knows? And thanks!

    Peter – Must admit that I did just that!

    Kittie – Thanks for the tip. Have ordered one now. 🙂

    Helen – An hour, you say? I gave up after 10 minutes!

    Sarah – Oh no! Did the pasta work at least?

  6. Hi Wendy,

    Well done for making your own pasta! You made a good job of it and I liked your choice of flavours.

    I had a look for pasta mahines for you, but had no joy. So I am glad you found one. I got mine from Lakeland, but they don’t seem to have them anymore.

    I have tagged you for a Book Meme. You have to pick up the book nearest to you as you read this! It’s quite fun actually!

    Oh and the No Croutons Required challenge for May is now up and running.

  7. Nina – I ate that fork full immediately after that photo!

    Aforkfullofspaghetti – Thanks! 🙂

    Holler – The pasta was actually bought stuff. Pasta machine on its way!

    Jenn – Great minds think alike. 😉

    Susan – Glad you reminded me to take part. It’s a VERY worthwhile event.

    Maryann – Hello! Much appreciated praise from the queen of Italian food. 🙂

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