Recipe video above. You will love how flavourful the juicy beef filling and sauce is! Too many recipes disappoint by using plain canned tomato - the sauce needs flavour! It will seem like there's a lot of sauce (and there is) and that it's too thin (and it is!) BUT you need it because the cannelloni sucks up a lot when it's cooking!!! Serves 4 very hungry people, 5 normal people.
2cupsmozzarella cheese, freshly grated (or other melting cheese)
Chopped parsley, garnish (optional)
Heat oil in a large saucepan or pot over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion, cook 2 minutes. Add carrot and celery, cook 5 minutes.
Add remaining Sauce ingredients then stir. Bring to simmer, lower heat to medium, cover with lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
Use a stick blender to blitz until smooth (or cool slightly and use blender or food processor). Set aside.
Spinach Beef Filling:
Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add onion and garlic, cook 2 minutes.
Add beef and cook, breaking it up as you go, until it all changes from red to brown.
Stir in spinach, then add crumbled beef cube, Worcestershire sauce, pepper and 1 cup of Cannelloni Sauce. Stir, cook 2 minutes.
Remove and cool slightly.
Assembly and Baking:
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
Transfer Beef Filling into a piping bag with a wide nozzle. Stand cannelloni tubes upright in a container, then pipe filling in. (Or do this step with teaspoon/finger/dinner knife!).
Spread about 1 1/4 cups Sauce in a 23x33cm / 9x13" dish. Lay the cannelloni on top, then pour over remaining Sauce.
Sprinkle with cheese, loosely cover with foil.
Bake 25 minutes, remove foil then bake a further 10 minutes until the cheese is bubbly with some golden spots.
Remove from oven, sprinkle with parsley if using then serve!
1. Spinach - I use frozen for convenience. Feel free to use fresh - you'll need 200g/7oz fresh spinach (about 6 - 8 cups) roughly chopped. Then plunge briefly into pot of boiling water until it wilts (weight will increase due to water), then use per recipe.2. Beef bouillon cube - also known as beef stock cube, can also use 1 tsp beef stock powder / granulated beef bouillon. It's used here to add extra flavour into filling - better than using plain salt!3. Cannelloni
1 standard packet is usually 250g and has 30 tubes, you will only use 21 - 24 tubes.
Cannelloni is a tube shaped dry pasta 7cm / 3″ long, 2cm / 2/3″ wide. Stuff uncooked, will cook & soften in oven.
Can also use manicotti - bigger version of cannelloni with ridges. Recipe will fill about 10 manicotti tubes.
Can also roll filling up in fresh lasagna sheets - whatever size you want them to be!
4. Storage - keep cooked leftovers in the fridge for 4 days and reheat in microwave. Can also freeze cooked leftovers - thaw then reheat.Freezing uncooked (best freezing method) - add an extra 1/2 cup of water in the sauce, then assemble per recipe. Do not bake. Cover, cool, freeze. To bake, thaw then cook per recipe.5. Nutrition per serving