Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Omelette Cannelloni with Italian Tomato Sauce

We went down to my mom's this last weekend, and I walked away with a treat. A new cookbook called Rose Elliot's Vegetarian Cookery. This is the first of three recipes that I bookmarked to try during the car ride home. Hopefully, they'll all be as good as this one was! These omelette cannelloni make a nice light supper paired with a salad, and you'll likely have more sauce leftover for the next time you make it. I reduced the recipe to serve two and my amounts are in parenthesis if you'd like to do the same. I used a small 7 1/2" non-stick frying pan for the omelette "crepes" and a 9" x 6" baking dish for the reduced amount (6 cannelloni). I don't see why you couldn't take a few short cuts with this recipe, like subbing a box of (thawed) frozen chopped spinach for the fresh, and using your favorite store bought marinara if you're short on time.

Omelette Cannelloni:
(Rose Elliot's Vegetarian Cookery)

1 lb of baby spinach (~10 oz)
8 oz ricotta cheese (5 oz whole milk ricotta)
3 oz Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, divided (I used 1 oz mixed into spinach, and grated who knows how much on top)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
4 eggs (I used 3, and added garlic powder and 2 large fresh torn basil leaves in with the s and p)
a little olive oil
1 quantity of Italian Tomato Sauce (recipe follows, I had plenty left over and froze it for next round of making this, would also make good soup thinned slightly with more broth)

Preheat oven to 350.
Wash spinach, then put it into a saucepan with just the water clinging to its leaves.
Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes or until tender.
Drain well, squeezing the water out after it's cooled a bit, and chop finely.
In a bowl, mix ricotta cheese, half of the Parmesan, nutmeg, salt and pepper. When combined, add the spinach in and mix well. Taste for seasoning then set aside.
Whisk eggs with a Tbs. of water, salt, pepper, fresh torn basil if you want, and a touch of garlic powder.
Brush a small frying pan generously with olive oil and heat.
Pour a little of the egg mixture- just enough to make a thin, crepe-like omelette, and cook for a few seconds until it is set.
Transfer to a plate.
Continue cooking the "crepes" until you have 8 (my 3 eggs made 6) brushing more oil into pan when necessary.
Lightly oil a shallow baking dish.
Divide spinach mixture into 8 equal parts (6) within the bowl...just so your cannelloni are mostly the same size.
Scoop one portion of spinach down the middle of an omelette and roll up like an enchilada.
Place in baking dish and continue the process until you've used up all the spinach and omelettes.
Pour some tomato sauce down the center of the cannelloni, without covering them completely on their ends.
Sprinkle with the rest of the grated Parmesan and bake for 25-30 minutes, to heat through and brown a bit on top.
You can heat more sauce and serve with the cannelloni, but I didn't find this necessary.
If you have some fresh basil, tear some to sprinkle over the top of the dish.

Italian Tomato Sauce:
(Rose Elliot's Vegetarian Cookery)

I think this would be a great recipe to double and store in 1-2 cup increments in the freezer.

1 onion, peeled and chopped (I used 3/4 of a large sweet onion)
1 celery stick, finely chopped
1 carrot, scraped and finely chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes with liquid
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil (I didn't have any dried, so just used fresh in the omelettes instead)
1 bay leaf
5 oz dark vegetable stock, red wine, or water (used veggie stock...not broth)
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Saute the onion, celery, and carrot in a medium saucepan for 10 minutes, until soft but not browned.
Add the garlic, tomatoes, basil, oregano, bay leaf, and the liquid of your choice.
Cook gently for ~25 minutes, or until the tomatoes have reduced and there isn't much liquid in the pan.
Remove the bay leaf.
Puree half the batch at a time in a blender.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, and if needed you can add a bit more liquid to thin if desired (I didn't).

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