Saute 1 onion and 4 plump cloves of fresh garlic in some olive oil. Allow to soften before adding 2 tins of chopped Italian tomatoes and 1 small tin tomato puree.
Allow to simmer before spicing with:
Fresh place pepper
A dash of sugar
Fill both empty tins with water and add 1 tin of water at a time to the tomatoes.
Cook on low heat for 1-2 hours a good indication is to check the cloves of garlic if they soften and melt into the mixture you good to go if not add more water and cook longer.Butternut and Spinach Filling:
Heat some oilve oil and a small pat of butter in a pan.
Add 1 finely chopped onion, fresh crushed garlic and some thyme.
Saute until fragrant and the onions are soft.
Add 1/2 bunch of finely chopped spinach and allow to wilt (don't over cook!).
Add about 1/2 butter but that has been cubed and pre-cooked.
Season lightly with salt, pepper and a dash of smoked paprika/ or chilli powder (be careful with the salt because the final addition is feta cheese which can also get salty).
Liquidise 1 cup of unsalted cashew nuts with 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup full cream milk.
Add to the butternut mixture (include the nut bits at the bottom of the jug these give this dish that extra hmm-mm).
Allow to cook until slightly thickened (It helps to add 1 tsp of flour at this point).
Lastly crumble in some good quality danish feta cheese.To Assemble:
Layer the tomato mixture in the dish.
Spoon the veg mixture into a piping bag and pipe into cannelloni shells.
Lay the shells side to side on the tomato mixture.
Grate some mozzarella cheese over.
Sprinkle some basil and paprika.
Bake for 1 hour until the pasta is softened and the cheese melts.
Variations and tips:
You can replace the butternut and spinach with mushrooms, cooked and mashed brinjals, courgettes or sweet potato.
If you not keen on the cashew milk replace with cream.
If you want a meatier version add some finely chopped cooked chicken or mince to the filling.
Ensure that you veg are as finely chopped as possible so as to make the filling easier to pipe into the shells.
Make sure the mixture is cool before piping!
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