Some days, you just need to make a giant pan of comfort food.
I’m single. ?I live alone. ?I don’t like to over make or waste food. ?I really don’t. ?Especially as I have an intense aversion to most leftovers.
The other side of the coin? ?I tend to overbuy fresh produce. ?I get excited in the store-seeing all the bright colors, thinking about textures and flavors and all that good stuff. ?I have wonderful, healthy intentions.
And you might remember my dedication and support of anything related to Earth Bound Farm. ?Yes, maybe it’s a bit of an endorsement of a company that wholeheartedly opened its doors (literally) to me and some other food bloggers, but, honestly? ?I’m a girl who needs to know where my food is coming from (as much as possible). ?I find it extremely important. ?And I can say that I know exactly where those pre-washed and pre-packaged greens come from in the store with the Earth Bound Farm label. ?Because I’ve seen it with my own eyes. ?If you want to see it, too, click here.
I’ve been face-planting into Myra Goodman’s cookbooks. ?The pages are all dog-eared and I’ve got handwritten notes in many of the margins. ?There are too many amazing recipes to choose from. ?The best part? ?The recipes are simple, straightforward and use healthy ingredients (like the giant plastic clamshell of fresh spinach leaves that I needed to use up before heading out of town for the holidays.)
These spinach cannelloni fit the bill. ?(They also heat up nicely as leftovers, by the way.) ?I cannot wait to share more of these recipes with you.
Earth Bound Farm Stand Spinach Cannelloni
For the Farm Stand Marinara Sauce (You will need 3 cups of this for the cannelloni. ?You can use the extra sauce or freeze it for a future use):
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup dry red wine
Two 28-ounce cans crushed tomatoes (do not drain)
1/4 cup fresh basil
1 tablespoons fresh oregano
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1-2 teaspoons sugar (optional, to taste. ?This takes away a bit of the metallic taste of the canned tomatoes. ?I recommend.)
For the Spinach Cannelloni:
8 whole wheat lasagna noodles (1o inches in length. ?Do not use No-Boil noodles. ?You need to do this “old-school” in order to properly form the cannelloni. ?I made the mistake of buying no-boil. ?They will not be as aesthetically pleasing…and you want them to look nice.)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 and 1/4 tablespoon salt
1 pound (12 cups) fresh baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
1 and 3/4 cups ricotta cheese
Pinch ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 and 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 cups of the Farm Stand Marinara Sauce
1. For the Farm Stand Marinara Sauce: ? Place the garlic and carrot in the bowl of your food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
2. Add the onion and continue to pulse until minced, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary,
3. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat.
4. Add the onion/carrot mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 10 minutes or so.
5. Add the wine and stir, scarping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
6. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
7. Add the tomatoes and their juices, the basil, oregano, and thyme to the pot and let the mixture simmer gently for about 35-45 minutes (you can get your noodles boiling at this point if you are short on time.)
8. Add the salt and pepper, stirring well. ?Add the sugar (to taste, optional). ?Set aside.
9. For the Spinach Cannelloni: ?Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
10. Add the lasagna noodles and cook, according to package directions (until just tender). ?Drain the noodles well and lay them out flat on a clean dish towel so that they do not stick together.
11. Heat the olive oil in a large, sauté pan over medium-low heat until shimmering.
12. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 5 minutes.
13. Add the garlic, thyme, basil, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring frequently, about 1 more minute.
14. Add about a quarter of the spinach to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until it wilts, about 2-3 minutes. ?Continue to add the spinach in batches, until all of the spinach has been used. ?Drain the spinach mixture in a strainer, pressing down on it to extract any excess liquid. ?Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized bowl and let cool.
15. In a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, egg, nutmeg, pepper, and the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. ?Add 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, stirring until completely combined.
16. ?Add the cheese mixture to the cooled spinach and stir to combine.
17. Position a rack in the center of the over and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
18. Spread 1 cup of the marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking pan.
19. Cut each lasagna noodle in half crosswise to make 16 pieces, each 4-5 inches long. Place each piece of lasagna on a work surface.
20. ?Spoon 1/4 cup of the spinach filling along the short edge of the boodle and roll it up to enclose the filling. ?Repeat with the remaining noodles. Arrange the cannelloni in the baking pan, side by side, seam side down, fitted closely together.
21. Cover the cannelloni with the remaining 2 cups of marinara sauce (or use the whole batch if you like extra sauce). ?Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of Parmesan cheese over the cannelloni.
22. Bake the cannelloni until the Parmesan melts, about 25-35 minutes. ?Serve immediately.
Source: Food to Live By by Myra Goodman.