Another Daring Cooks Challenge is finally here! Manu from Manu's Menu challenged us to make Cannelloni for the June 2012 challenge. Thank you Manu for the fun challenge and the motivation to get some of my friends together for a unique dinner!
Cannelloni was a bigger challenge than I expected simply because I'm trying to avoid tons of carbs and my mom is trying to avoid tons of cheese. On top of this, my boyfriend is a vegetarian. With all of these dietary obstacles I had to get a little creative. I found a fun recipe for a zucchini cannelloni over at My Pans and Pots and it inspired me to make something similar. This way, I could avoid the carbs and use some lighter ingredients and still celebrate the June challenge and the spirit of the cannelloni dish!
4 large zucchini, peeled and with the ends cut off
1/4 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1 cup baby spinach
1 egg yolk
1 large tomato, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
a pinch of nutmeg
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp flour
1. With the prepared zucchini, cut them in half length-wise and scrape out the insides. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and boil the gutted zucchini halves for 5 minutes. Remove from the water and set aside to dry.
2. In a small saucepan, heat the spinach over low heat until wilted. Place the spinach in a bowl with the ricotta and egg yolk and mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, saute the olive oil, onion, and garlic until onion becomes translucent. Mix in the chopped tomatoes and continue to cook over low heat for about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the tomato sauce into a 9 by 13 inch pan.
4. Preheat oven to 350. Place 4 of the zucchini halves in the tomato sauce, stuff them with the ricotta mixture, and place the other halves on top.
5. Pour the milk into a small sauce pan and mix in the flour over medium-low heat until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in the nutmeg, salt, and pepper and stir until sauce thickens. Pour the sauce over the tops of the stuffed zucchini. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the dish.
6. Bake the zucchini for about 30 minutes and then place on high-broil for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is browned on top.