Creamy vegetable cannelloni
You can fill about 14 cannelloni rolls with this recipe.
- 1 package of Cannelloni
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 1 zucchini
- 2 bell peppers (I used red and green, but you can use any kind)
- 6 fresh basil leaves
- ± 500gr of pasta sauce (your favorite or traditional Italian tomato sauce)
- 1 large garlic clove, pressed
For the creamy Cashew ricotta:
- 1 1/2 cup cashews (soaked for about 2 hours before using)
- about 1/2 cup of water
- Juice of half a lemon - or 1tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 garlic clove
- Sea salt & cracked black pepper to taste
- Vegan melty cheese to top the cannelloni with. If you don't have any (like myself) you can make a mixture of breadcrumbs with italian herbs and nutritional yeast (bake for a bit in a pan without any oil and let it brown a bit) and sprinkle that on top to make a more crunchy top, and it looks nice!
I adapted this recipe from a vegetarian recipe that uses lots of cheese, like so many vegetarian recipes do. I used to make it a lot when I was still vegetarian.
I think this tastes a lot less heavy but just as creamy and good as I remember!
First, cut all your veggies in small cubes (so they fit into the cannelloni easily). Set aside. Preheat your oven to 180 C (that's about 356F)
To make the cashew ricotta I used my simple but effective handblender, but you can use a blender or food processor
Once the cashews are soaked (they get puffy, make sure they are all fully covered with water when you soak them) drain them and put them in a large bowl (in case of the handblender) or blender/food processor together with the lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar), nutritional yeast and garlic clove. Put about 1/3 of the water with the mixture and start blending, if you think the mixture is too thick or doesn't mix well, slowly add more water as you blend until you get a ricotta-like consistency. If it's a bit too runny, that is ok, set it in the fridge for a while and it will get more stiff. Taste if it needs more salt, pepper or nutritional yeast for a more cheesy flavour.
Now take a non stick pan and heat some olive oil. Put in all the veggies and press the garlic above the mixture. Wait until the mixture gets a little bit soft, but not too soft, because it will still go into the oven.
Once the mixture is done, you will see some liquid, it's ok, but you can better have a more dry mixture, so put the mixture into a sieve above the sink to get rid of the liquid.
Now transfer the mixture back to the pan and get your cashew ricotta and basil leaves (finely chopped) out. You will need about 100gr of the cashew ricotta, you can use more, but be sure not to overdo it. You can use the remaining cashew ricotta for another dish, put it on toast, bread or whatever. It keeps good for about 5 days in the fridge. Add the ricotta and basil leaves to the mixture and mix well.
Now it's time to fill the cannelloni. First take an ovendish that fits about 14 cannelloni rolls, I used two small oven dishes, because I made it for two and thought it looked nice.
Grease the ovendish(es) with vegan margarine or olive oil, which ever you prefer.
Take a spoon and scoop the creamy veggie mixture into the cannellonis, put your pinky on the other side to prevent the mixture from falling out. It will get messy, but that's fine at this point. Use the other side of the spoon to push the mixture in a bit more. When you're finished with filling and putting the cannellonis next to each other in the ovendish(es). Get your tomato sauce, and pour it over the cannellonis, if you have any left over mixture, you can also put that underneat the tomato sauce.
And this is not neccessary, and is not in the recipe, but I choose to put some grilled eggplant slices on top.
Lastly sprinkle over your vegan cheese or bread crumb mixture.
Now put the dishes in the preheated oven for about 20 to 30 minutes, check at 20 minutes with a fork if the cannellonis are soft, if not leave them in for 5 to 10 minutes more.
Sorry that there is no photo! But I forgot to take one.