23 January 2011

Spicy Spinach Cannelloni

It's not that we're jumping on the whole January diet bandwagon... we're always trying to lose weight so that is why I have a WeightWatchers cookbook. It does actually have some great recipes in there but when Joe declared that we eat too much meat (is that possible?) we decided to try WeightWatchers Spicy Spinach Cannelloni. I duly bought the ingredients, was far from optimistic and assumed I'd make it, it would be gross and we would end the eating cutting massive chunks off the chorizo sausage that somehow made its way into our fridge. To add more pressure a friend of mine decided to come for dinner... oh the shame of cooking bland diet food.

However, bland it was not and I'm really pleased we tried it. I have ear marked it for next time my unadventurous friend and his veggie girlfriend come round.

SPICY SPINACH CANNELLONI

Serves 3-4

1 x can 400g chopped tomatoes with onions and herbs (I added my own)
100ml vegetable stock
1 x 250g pot Quark or Marscapone
1 egg yolk
1 red chili, de-seeded and chopped finely
375g frozen spinach, defrosted
150g low fat soft cheese with garlic and herbs
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
125g cannelloni tubes
2 tbsps roughly chopped fresh coriander

Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 6. Now I know - what the hell is Quark?? from what I can work out it's basically a cheese substitute. Sainsburys do stock it but then it didn't arrive with my delivery so I used marscapone instead which was absolutely fine. I would also recommend a naughty grate of cheddar on top to make this absolutely perfect but that obviously goes against the whole low fat point of this recipe. For those of  you who care or indeed understand these things this recipe apparently has just 267 calories per serving. Also if you don't have a piping bag you can use a teaspoon it'll just be more time consuming.


1. In a jug, mix together the tomatoes, onions and herbs and vegetable stock. Set aside.

2. In a bowl mix together the Quark (or Marscapone), egg yolk and chili. Set aside.

3. Squeeze out the excess water from the spinach and put into a large bowl. Mix with the soft cheese and cayenne pepper. Using a piping bag (with a 2cm nozzle), pipe the mixture into the cannelloni tubes and arrange in a 3 pint ovenproof dish. Pour over the tomato sauce.

4. Dollop the Quark mixture over the top and smooth out using the back of the spoon.

5. Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes until golden and the pasta is cooked.

6. Scatter over the coriander and serve immidiately.

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