Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni with Little Gem & Marinated Shallot Salad

Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni

with Little Gem & Marinated Shallot Salad

55 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

“Cannelloni” translates to “large reeds” from Italian, a reference to the hollow tubes of pasta that are filled before being baked. Here, we’re rolling up fresh sheets of pasta around a creamy filling of ricotta cheese and sautéed spinach. To contrast the rich cheese, we’re layering a quick, tangy-sweet tomato sauce on top of the cannelloni before bringing it all together in the oven. Our simple side salad of little gem lettuce and cucumber balances the dish out with refreshing crispness.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    730 Cals (est.)
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fresh
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tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients & marinate the shallot:
1 Prepare the ingredients & marinate the shallot:

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Place the tomatoes in a large bowl; gently break apart with your hands. Cut off and discard the root end of the lettuce; roughly chop the leaves. Peel the cucumber, leaving alternating strips of skin intact. Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds. Quarter and deseed the lemon. Peel the shallot; mince to get 2 tablespoons (you may have extra). Place in a bowl with the juice of 2 lemon wedges; season with salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes.

Make the filling:
2 Make the filling:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the spinach; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until wilted. Transfer to a strainer; hold or rest over a bowl. Using a spoon, press down to release as much liquid as possible; discard the liquid. Transfer to a cutting board; finely chop. Transfer to a medium bowl; add the ricotta cheese and the juice of the remaining lemon wedges. Drizzle with olive oil; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Wipe out the pan.

Make the sauce:
3 Make the sauce:

In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic and as much of the red pepper flakes as you'd like, depending on how spicy you'd like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until the liquid is slightly reduced in volume. Turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the pasta sheets:
4 Cook the pasta sheets:

While the sauce cooks, using your hands, separate the pasta sheets. Add to the pot of boiling water and cook, stirring gently to separate, 2 to 3 minutes, or until just shy of al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Drain thoroughly and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Carefully transfer to a clean, dry work surface.

Assemble & bake the cannelloni:
5 Assemble & bake the cannelloni:

Spread about ⅓ of the sauce into the bottom of a baking dish. Divide the filling among the centers of the cooked pasta sheets. Roll the pasta sheets around the filling. Carefully transfer to the baking dish, seam side down. Evenly top with the remaining sauce and half the parmesan cheese. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until heated through. Remove from the oven and let stand for at least 2 minutes.

Make the salad & plate your dish:
6 Make the salad & plate your dish:

While the cannelloni bake, to make the dressing, slowly whisk 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the bowl of marinated shallot until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, in a large bowl, combine the lettuce and cucumber. Add enough of the dressing to coat (you may have extra dressing); season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the baked cannelloni and salad between 2 dishes. Garnish the cannelloni with the remaining parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients & marinate the shallot:

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Place the tomatoes in a large bowl; gently break apart with your hands. Cut off and discard the root end of the lettuce; roughly chop the leaves. Peel the cucumber, leaving alternating strips of skin intact. Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds. Quarter and deseed the lemon. Peel the shallot; mince to get 2 tablespoons (you may have extra). Place in a bowl with the juice of 2 lemon wedges; season with salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes.

2 Make the filling:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the spinach; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until wilted. Transfer to a strainer; hold or rest over a bowl. Using a spoon, press down to release as much liquid as possible; discard the liquid. Transfer to a cutting board; finely chop. Transfer to a medium bowl; add the ricotta cheese and the juice of the remaining lemon wedges. Drizzle with olive oil; stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Wipe out the pan.

Make the filling:
Make the sauce:
3 Make the sauce:

In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic and as much of the red pepper flakes as you'd like, depending on how spicy you'd like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until the liquid is slightly reduced in volume. Turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4 Cook the pasta sheets:

While the sauce cooks, using your hands, separate the pasta sheets. Add to the pot of boiling water and cook, stirring gently to separate, 2 to 3 minutes, or until just shy of al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Drain thoroughly and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Carefully transfer to a clean, dry work surface.

Cook the pasta sheets:
Assemble & bake the cannelloni:
5 Assemble & bake the cannelloni:

Spread about ⅓ of the sauce into the bottom of a baking dish. Divide the filling among the centers of the cooked pasta sheets. Roll the pasta sheets around the filling. Carefully transfer to the baking dish, seam side down. Evenly top with the remaining sauce and half the parmesan cheese. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until heated through. Remove from the oven and let stand for at least 2 minutes.

6 Make the salad & plate your dish:

While the cannelloni bake, to make the dressing, slowly whisk 1 tablespoon of olive oil into the bowl of marinated shallot until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Just before serving, in a large bowl, combine the lettuce and cucumber. Add enough of the dressing to coat (you may have extra dressing); season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the baked cannelloni and salad between 2 dishes. Garnish the cannelloni with the remaining parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Make the salad & plate your dish:
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