Cannelloni with rainbow chard, spinach and ricotta
Recipe (4 servings) ingredients:
For the dough:
- 300g flour (I always use ‘de Cecco’ flour)
- 3 whole eggs
How to prepare the pasta dough:
On a flat surface, sift the flour and dig a hole in the center into which the eggs will be added. Start mixing with a fork and incorporate the flour little by little. Once the flour is all mixed with the yolks, start mixing using your hands until the mixture is well homogeneous. Season with salt and if needed, add some water. Form the dough into a ball and wrap it inside a plastic wrap. Let it rest aside for at least 20 minutes and prepare the stuffing. For the pasta making, dust your work surface with some flour. Take a lump of dough and press it with your fingertips. Set the pasta machine at its widest setting and roll the pasta dough though it. If the pasta sticks, dust it with flour. Click the pasta machine down a setting and roll the dough through again. Fold the pasta in half, click the pasta machine back up to the widest setting and roll the dough through again. Repeat this process four to five times. The pasta dough becomes smooth and workable like that. Now it’s time to roll the dough out properly, working it through all the settings on the machine, from the widest down to the narrowest. Dust both sides of the pasta with some Cecco flour every time you roll it through the machine. When you’ve got down to the narrowest setting, fold the pasta in half lengthwise, then in half again, and again once more until you’ve got a square piece of dough. Turn it 90 degrees and pass it through the machine at the widest setting. As you roll it down through the settings for the last time, you should end up with a nice rectangular sheet of dough with straight sides.
If your dough is a little cracked at the edges, fold it in half just once, click the machine back two settings and feed it through again.
In the end, you should end up with several thin rectangular cannelloni layers, depending on the size of your baking dish.
For the filling:
- 400g fresh spinach
- 500g rainbow chard (only the leaves)
- 300g ricotta cheese
- 400g mozzarella (cut in slices)
- salt, pepper
Wash well the chard leaves and spinach and drain. Add the greens in a cooking pan and let them cook over medium heat. Stir occasionally to avoid them from sticking on the bottom of the pan and remove excess of water. Keep cooking until they become soft. Keep them aside. Season with salt and pepper.
Cover the bottom of your baking dish with some olive oil to prevent your cannelloni from sticking.
On each rectangular dough sheet. spread over some of the greens, some slices of mozzarella and a spoon of ricotta cheese. Spread the filling along the side of the rectangle. Do so for the remaining rectangles of pasta and fit all your cannelloni tightly into your oven dish. Cover the cannelloni with the remaining filling and sprinkle with some freshly grated parmesan cheese if you want. Bake for about 30 minutes at 200°C, until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool down for at least 15 minutes before cutting into it: this will prevent the sauce from being too runny and it will make the serving easier.
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