Rich Vegetarian Cannelloni with Butternut Squash, Pecans and Mascarpone
- prep time 25 min
- total time 110 min
- serves 4
1 butternut squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon chili flakes
5 ounces baby spinach
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
salt and freshly ground pepper
⅓ cup pecans
1 package fresh lasagna or cannelloni noodles
½ cup cream
½ cup mascarpone cheese
fresh chives, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Place cut side down in a small baking dish and add 1 cm of water up the sides. Put the squash in the oven and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until it is tender when pierced with a fork.
3. Remove from oven and baking dish and allow to rest until it is cool enough to handle.
4. Scoop flesh out of the squash and measure out 1 cup of squash.
5. Heat a large skillet to medium-low heat and add the olive oil and chili flakes. Cook for 3 minutes or until fragrant, stirring regularly.
6. Add spinach, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of water. Stir the spinach until it has wilted and remove the pan from the heat.
7. Toss the spinach with the butternut squash, the nutmeg, and a pinch of freshly ground pepper. This is the filling for your cannelloni.
8. In a small dry skillet over medium low heat add pecans, toss pecans gently and allow them to toast. Do not let them burn. When toasted they will be fragrant, it should take approximately 5 minutes.
9. Add cream and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and bring mixture to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes then stir in the mascarpone cheese and turn off the heat.
10. If you are using dried pasta, cook according to package directions. Add one third of the sauce to the bottom of an 8x8” casserole dish.
11. Fill up each cannelloni with approximately one heaping tablespoon of filling. (If you are using lasagna noodles cut into squares and roll up with the filling inside.)
12. Place each cannelloni into the casserole dish in one layer. You can expect to get about a dozen into an 8x8 pan.
13. Top with remaining sauce.
14. Put in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Garnish with freshly chopped chives