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 cr.me fra.che
- 1/3 cup liquid stock or water
- 1/3 cup grated cheese
- Salt and pepper to season
- Heat oven to 180°C. Grease a small ovenproof dish that will fit the pasta tubes snugly.
- Make the filling by heating the oil in a pan and
- cooking the onion and mushroom for 3-4 minutes until softened a bit. Pour in tomatoes and thyme and heat until it simmers.
- Add lentils and spinach and cook, covered, until the spinach is wilted.
- Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.
- 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.
- Loosen the leftover filling with a splash or two of water and pour this over and around the cannelloni.
- Whisk the crème fraîche, stock and half the cheese together. Season. Pour over the pasta.
- 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.
- Serve with a simple salad.