Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni with Walnut Pesto

I made this savory dish a couple nights ago and although it did take a while to make, it was definitely worth the wait! The whole thing was pretty easy to put together too, but it would have been a lot easier if I had made the pesto the night before...


  Here's how I made it...

Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni with Walnut Pesto

-8 Cannelloni (serves 3)
-mozzarella cheese
-fresh ground nutmeg
-salt & pepper
-1 onion
-2 cloves of chopped garlic 
-1 package of chopped frozen spinach
-2 handfuls of fresh basil
-1/4 cup of crushed walnuts
-1/4 cup of shaved parmesean or asiago cheese
-3/4 cup of ricotta cheese
-1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

To make the pesto, all you have do is add two handfuls of fresh, chopped basil into a food processor or (powerful) blender along with the parmesean cheese, salt & pepper, garlic and walnuts and pulse as you slowly add in the olive oil. Pulse the ingredients until they are thoroughly blended but still have a bit of texture to them.
Preheat the oven to 375. 
Next, chop up the onion and throw in a saucepan with some olive oil, salt & pepper and nutmeg and sauté. Meanwhile you can add the cannelloni to boiling water (putting a little olive oil in the h2o helps to keep the pasta from sticking to itself when you want to add the ricotta mixture). While you are waiting for your pasta to cook you can also thaw your spinach by putting it into a saucepan with about 1/4 of an inch of water and heat, but be sure to drain as much of the water as you can when it's through. When your spinach is ready, throw it in a mixing bowl along with the ricotta, onion and nutmeg annnnd mix! It's easiest if you do the mixing when you have the canneloni ready because pretty it's close to impossible not to use your hands to stuff the pasta, so you might as well get your hands dirty rather than attempt to be a lady like I did and use a spoon. Once you've successfully stuffed your pasta with the mixture, line the cannelloni up in a baking dish (spread a bit of the pesto on the bottom first, so they don't stick) and rub them down with the pesto sauce. Add a few slices of mozzarella cheese on top with a few leftover onion slices and bake for about 20 minutes or until brown and bubbling.

Serve and devour.

Hope you like it too!