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This is my super easy chicken and spinach cannelloni. Made with fresh pasta sheets and rolled sushi style, even the younger family members can help out with this one.

Cannelloni is a fantastic dish but I find filling those pasta tubes a little time consuming. To make it easier for myself, I have substituted the cannelloni tubes with fresh pasta sheets to reduce both the time and mess by half.  Now that this meal is a whole lot easier I am willing to make it weekly. If you were wanting to entertain, this would be perfect meal to prepare a day in advance.

Once I have made my sauce and filling I begin making the cannelloni rolls. I start by cutting my long pasta sheets in half, then spread the mixture on top, like you would if you were making sushi, then roll them up and cut them. The process goes something like this.

Here’s the pasta…I have folded it in half, then cut it.

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Now I have spread my filling over…leave a little gap at the end, just like sushi.

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Then you need to roll them up…

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and cut them…I cut them about 3cm thick,  it really depends on how deep the dish is that you are using. I usual cut one, pop it into the sauce, and make a judgement on whether or not it needs to be thicker or thinner. The sauce should be almost flush with the surface of the cannelloni. Take a look at my first photo and you will see what I mean. You don’t want the sauce to completely cover them because in the last 10 minutes of cooking you sprinkle a light layer of cheese on top.

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The sauce I make is super easy, takes about 10 minutes, then you simmer it for 15 minutes and you are ready to go.

There isn’t much to tell you about the filling. I roast the chicken and shred it….

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Once the spinach is cooked, I chop it pretty finely so everything blends well.

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I think that is all the information I need to give you today but if you have any questions send me an email megan@thecafebaker.co.nz

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Megan

Cheats Cannelloni
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Tomato Sauce
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 x bottle passata (670g)
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • Spinach Filling
  • 500g boneless/skinless chicken thighs, roasted and shredded
  • 400g bag of Spinach, stems removed
  • 20g butter
  • 400g feta cheese
  • Spinach Filling
Instructions
Tomato Sauce
  1. Pour the oil into the pan and add the garlic. Keep on medium heat until the garlic is lightly browned.
  2. Pour in the passata, water and wine and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Season to taste with the salt, pepper and tomato paste.
Filling
  1. Roast the chicken with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Takes about 25 minutes in a medium oven. Shred when cooked and mix in with any juices left in the pan. Set aside.
  2. Saute the spinach with the butter and a little water, salt and pepper. When cooked squeeze out the extra liquid and chop finely.
  3. Combine the feta cheese with the spinach and chicken while they are still warm. This helps the feta to melt a little and blend together well. Set aside.
Cannelloni
  1. Cut the pasta sheets in half (see photo instructions). Cover the pasta with the chicken mix, leaving a 1 inch strip at the end. Roll them up, placing seam side bench down. I get four complete rolls. Slice into sushi style slices and place into a lasagna dish that has been filled with tomato sauce.
  2. Cover the entire dish with tinfoil and place in the oven for 40 minutes at 180°.
  3. Remove from the oven, discard the tinfoil and cover the cannelloni with a light sprinkling of cheese.
  4. Bake for a further 10 minutes.
  5. Enjoy.
Notes
That 1 Tbsp of tomato paste doesn't make or break the recipe. It's something I always have in my cupboard and I find it just gives it a bit of a flavour boost. If it isn't a staple item of yours, don't bother.
The sauce will seem a little thin but it needs to be, as the pasta absorbs a good proportion of it.