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Recipe: Leek, spinach & ricotta cannelloni

Last updated 12:29 23/04/2014

TUBES OF GOODNESS: Pasta fans, you'll love this recipe.

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Leeks are often grown in sandy soil and they can, at times, be a little tedious to clean thoroughly. I've found the best way to do this is to pare back the first two or three layers and cut the top off where the tender white part ends. With a sharp knife, starting at the top, make an incision down the leek, about 4-5cm long, into three or four layers. Make another two or three incisions, working around the top of the leek. Fill a bowl with cold water, place the cut end of the leek in the bowl and shake vigorously.

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 large leeks, cleaned, washed and cut into 1/2cm rounds
2 garlic cloves, minced
250g spinach, washed, cooked and drained well
250g ricotta
100g grated parmesan
Salt and pepper
8 cannelloni sheets (make your own or buy ready made)
2 large leeks
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1kg fresh, ripe tomatoes (or tinned), peeled and pureed
3-4 red chillies, thinly sliced
1 cup parsley, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper
Extra parmesan to serve


Main ingredient Pasta
Type of dish Italian
Course Dinner
Cooking time 1 - 2 hours
Serves/makes 4
Special options Vegetarian

1. Heat olive oil in a pan and gently fry leeks and garlic until soft. Roughly chop spinach and mix in a bowl with ricotta, cooked leeks and parmesan.

2. Season to taste. Cut sheets of pasta into 12 rectangles 6cm by 10cm.

3. Cook immediately in boiling, salted water. Place cooked sheets on wet tea towels. Spoon ricotta mixture on each sheet of pasta and roll into a log. Spoon some tomato, leek and chilli sauce on bottom of a baking dish.

4. Arrange cannelloni in dish and spread one cup of tomato sauce on top. Season and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 15 minutes. Serve straight from oven with more grated parmesan.

The sauce

1. Wash leeks, keeping only the tender white parts, and finely chop. Heat olive oil in a pan and lightly fry leeks and garlic until soft, taking care not to let them colour. Add chilli and lightly fry a minute more. Add tomatoes and two good pinches of salt. Simmer slowly for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add parsley, stir and simmer for 5 minutes more. Season to taste.

Makes about 6 cups

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