Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Crab, Ricotta & Spinach Cannelloni

Crab Ricotta & Spinach Cannelloni
Inspired by Donna Hay, Winter Issue 22

Prep time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 15 minutes
Serves 2-4

4 sheets of pasta (basic Donna Hay recipe at the bottom of the post) – really I’m lazy, have no pasta maker and usually buy fresh sheets when I can get them or even better….1 box of giant pasta shells to stuff.
2 cans (6oz/170g) crab meat, drained
10oz/300g ricotta cheese (I used lite)
Zest of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup shredded Mozzarella or Mixed Italian cheeses
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp basil, shredded or chiffonade
Handful of baby spinach leaves
1 egg lightly beaten
1 cup cream (I used 5%)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
More salt & pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 390°/200°C

2. Combine the crab, ricotta, ¼ cup Parmesan, Mozzarella, lemon zest, garlic, basil and salt & pepper in a bowl. This could even be made a day ahead

3. Prepare the pasta (make your own recipe as below, use fresh pasta sheets or boil up the pasta shells.

4. Pasta rectangles should be 3½”x6”. Lay ¼ cup of the crab mixture down the center, leaving ¼” on either side and place some spinach leaves to cover the crab. Spread some egg mixture along the edges to seal as you roll the long sides together. Another option is to place a spinach leaf or two in the bottom of the large pasta shells and then stuff each pasta shell with crab mixture.

5. Place the cannelloni seam side down in a large enough baking dish to hold the 4 cannelloni or all the stuffed pasta shells (stuffing side up). Pour the cream, remaining Parmesan and more freshly ground pepper. Bake for 15 minutes and serve with a delicious salad.

Donna Hay’s Basic Egg Pasta
Prep time: 15 minutes
Makes 4 sheets

1 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 eggs
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp water

1. Place the flour, eggs, oil and water in the bowl of your food processor and process until the mixture looks like bread crumbs.

2. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until a smooth dough forms. Divide into 4 equal portions.

3. Follow the directions on your pasta machine. I used a rolling pin but couldn’t get the dough thin enough for my taste.

4. Cover any unused pasta with plastic wrap to prevent drying out.

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