Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Pancake Day!!! A vegetarian pancake cannelloni recipe

Growing up, pancakes were not considered a main course in our house, they were always a desert, usually following a traditional Dutch pea soup. At the ripe old age of 29, I am still not able to overcome this part of my upbringing, not even for Shrove Tuesday. In stead, I decided to make a savoury pancake dish, an adaptation of my usual cannelloni recipe: Introducing Panelloni! (yeah, I know.... * groan *)

(serves 4 when served with side salad & bread)

I used a pancake batter recipe from BBC Good Food (great site by the way), and made my pancakes as thin as possible so the end result wouldn't be too doughy. My oven dish - dimensions to be added later when I've measured it :) - fit 8 filled pancake rolls.

  • 1 300g bag of fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 250g tub of ricotta
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • couple of cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 80g freshly grated pecorino
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 50g pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
Tomato sauce:
  • 2 400g cartons/cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • handful of fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 50g grated pecorino to sprinkle on top

(errr... I'm actually not to sure about the amounts of pecorino, I didn't weigh them... will do and edit next time I make this. In the mean time, trust your own judgment - if it looks like a ridiculous amount, stop)


Preheat the oven to 190°C / gas mark 5

I suggest getting a minion to make the pancake batter and pancakes while you prepare the filling and tomato sauce. While none of this is complicated, it involves a lot of parallel processes, rendering minions very useful.

  • gently fry the onions in the olive oil until they start to change colour
  • add the garlic and spinach and fry until the spinach has fully reduced, pour off any excess water
  • stir in the ricotta, lemon zest, pecorino, pine nuts, and salt and pepper to taste (taste before adding the salt, as pecorino is a fairly salty cheese)
Tomato sauce
  • fry the onion in the olive oil over a low heat until soft and sweet
  • add chopped tomatoes
  • add the basil
  • add salt & pepper to taste
  • cook until hot but not boiling
  • Put a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of a large square or oblong oven dish
  • divide the filling over the pancakes and roll them up, then place side by side in the oven dish
  • cover in remaining tomato sauce
  • sprinkle with remaining pecorino
  • bake in oven for 20 – 30 minutes, until the pecorino is melted and beginning to turn brown

...Oh, and of course I had my minion make extra batter, so we had pancakes for desert as well.