In this recipe I bring together Asian flavours and Italian ones, to create a surprisingly tasty dish. By using bought cannelloni shells this makes it an easy dish to prepare.
Prep: 20-30 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Mushroom and Spinach Cannelloni
2 tbsp virgin olive oil
100g mixed wild mushrooms, cleaned and finely sliced
50g oyster mushrooms, cleaned and finely sliced
50g shitake mushrooms, cleaned and finely sliced
50g spinach leaves, washed and trimmed
2 tbsp basil, shredded
2 tbsp coriander, chopped
1-2 garlic, cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger, finely chopped
50g parmesan grated
pinch grated nutmeg
Maldon salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tsp olive oil or truffle oil
10g dried morels or porcini, reconstituted in 200ml boiling water (stained and water reserved for sauce)
10g dried shitake mushrooms reconstituted as above or fresh ones, finely sliced
50 ml red wine
Spicy Tomato Sauce
1 tbsp. Olive oil
1 garlic clove finely chopped
300ml red wine
2*300g canned plum tomato
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp basil, shredded
18 bought cannelloni, shells
3 tbsp olive oil (to cook)
30g pine nuts, roasted
30g cashew nuts, roasted
1 tbsp. Truffle oil (optional)
6 basil leaves
Mushroom Filling: Rinse the spinach leaves and retaining the water on the leaves from rinsing place them in a saucepan over a moderate heat. Place the lid on the saucepan and cook it for a couple of minutes stirring the leaves halfway through the cooking to lift the wilted leaves from the bottom of the pan. The spinach is cooked when wilted down and tender. Remove the spinach from the pan and allow it to cool slightly. Squeeze out the excess water from the leaves, then chop the spinach finely and place it in a bowl.
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a moderate heat, add the garlic and allow it to cook for a minute, then add all the mushrooms and sauté them for a few minutes until they soften. Remove the mushrooms mixture from the heat and allow it to cool. Then add it to the bowl with the spinach.
In the bowl with the spinach and mushrooms add all the remaining filling ingredients and mix it together until well combined. Season with a little salt and pepper to taste. Set the filling aside while you cook the sauce.
Tomato Sauce: Add the olive oil to a saucepan over a moderate heat. When the oil is warm add the garlic and sauté it for a minute. Add the tomatoes with their juice, chilli flakes, soy sauce, red wine and sugar in the pan with the garlic, stirring it well so that it is well distributed. Leave this on a slow simmer while you prepare the cannelloni.
Cannelloni: With a teaspoon fill the cannelloni with the mushroom filling so that it fills them totally, repeat this until you have used all the ingredients.
To Cook the Cannelloni: Preheat an oven to 200C. Grease an oven proof container large enough to hold the cannelloni snugly or 6 individual ones e.g.. pie dishes, with olive oil. Remove the tomato sauce from the heat and stir in the basil leaves. Pour a little of the tomato sauce over the base of the container or containers, so that it covers the base generously. Place the filled cannelloni in the container/containers, then cover them with the tomato sauce. Place an oiled sheet of olive oil over the cannelloni and place it in the preheated oven. Allow 25-40 minutes (the lesser time if preparing individual ones) for the cannelloni to cook. It is cooked when the cannelloni is soft. While it is cooking prepare the sauce. When the cannelloni is ready keep it warm until ready to serve.
Mushroom Sauce: Place the oil in a saucepan over a moderate heat, when it is hot add the morels or porcini and shitake mushrooms and sauté them for a couple of minutes. Add the mushroom water and red wine to the pan and increase the temperature to a strong simmer and leave to reduce down until there is very little liquid left. Keep the sauce warm until ready to serve.
To Serve: Carefully remove the cannelloni from its cooking container, and place 3 cannelloni rolls on the centre of 6 plates with the tomato sauce. Pour the mushroom sauce around the edge of each plate, sprinkle the pine nuts and cashews around the plate. Garnish the cannelloni with basil leaves and serve.