Feast For One

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18 August 2022

Reading Time: 2 minutes

COOKING FOR ONE can be such a joy. For starters, you get to eat what and when you like! I’m especially thrilled when I find a recipe that serves four to six, which is time-consuming to make for that number, but can be whipped up in no time for just one person. Think pies, filo parcels and other fiddly dishes. . . and cannelloni. Making this Italian favourite for one is a simple pleasure and it takes no time at all.

Fiddly recipes can take an age if you’re making them for a crowd, but Nici Wickes says one of the advantages of cooking for one is that a dish like this vegetarian cannelloni is surprisingly quick when you’re only making a single serve – so go ahead, spoil yourself!

Cannelloni for one

Tender pasta filled with mushrooms, tomato, spinach and lentils – divine!


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 large portobello mushroom, chopped roughly
  • 1/2 a can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 can lentils, drained
  • 1 cup shredded spinach
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt and grind of pepper
  • 4 cannelloni pasta tubes


  • 1/3 cup fra.che
  • 1/3 cup liquid stock or water
  • 1/3 cup grated cheese
  • Salt and pepper to season


  1. Heat oven to 180°C. Grease a small ovenproof dish that will fit the pasta tubes snugly.
  2. Make the filling by heating the oil in a pan and
  3. cooking the onion and mushroom for 3-4 minutes until softened a bit. Pour in tomatoes and thyme and heat until it simmers.
  4. Add lentils and spinach and cook, covered, until the spinach is wilted.
  5. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Take each pasta tube and stamp it into the filling repeatedly until the tube is filled. Fill from both end if you like. Lay filled tubes in the prepared dish.
  7. Loosen the leftover filling with a splash or two of water and pour this over and around the cannelloni.
  8. Whisk the crème fraîche, stock and half the cheese together. Season. Pour over the pasta.
  9. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes until it’s golden and bubbling and pasta is tender.
  10. Serve with a simple salad.

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