Marcus Wareing's cannelloni with spinach, pumpkin and nutmeg recipe

  • Serves 4
  • 30 mins to prepare and 2 hrs 00 mins to cook
  • 610 calories / serving
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This comforting pasta dish by Marcus Wareing will satisfy kids and adults - the stuffed pasta tubes add intrigue with the two different fillings, and the rich baked sauces combine to make a rich, warming winter dinner.

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 4, 180°C, fan 160°C.

For the pumpkin filling, place the pumpkin, vegetable oil and seasoning in a bowl and toss to coat. Spread the pumpkin pieces out on a roasting tray and roast for 20-25 minutes until golden.

When the pumpkin is soft and cooked, place in a bowl and use a masher or fork to remove any lumps and create a smooth paste. Add salt and pepper and mix well.

Begin the white sauce by getting your little ones to stud the onion and garlic with cloves. Place in a saucepan along with the milk, salt and bay leaves. Simmer for 10 minutes so that the flavours can infuse.

Melt the butter in a separate pan over a medium heat. Add the plain flour and mix well to form a paste (roux). Cook the mixture out for 2 minutes. Strain in the infused milk, ensuring you whisk continuously.

Cook over a gentle heat until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon – it should be thinner than a normal white sauce. Adjust the seasoning as desired.

To make the spinach filling, bring salted water to the boil in a large pan. Blanch the spinach for 30 seconds, and then strain and transfer to a colander resting in iced water.

Once the spinach is cool, squeeze to remove any excess water – the kids can help with this! Then chop into small pieces and leave aside.

Combine the spinach, cream cheese, nutmeg and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Mix well and set aside.

To make the tomato sauce, add the vegetable oil to the pan and set over a medium heat. When hot, cook the onion and garlic until golden-brown.

Add the vinegar to the pan to de-glaze, then add in the rest of the sauce ingredients. Leave the sauce to simmer for 5 minutes.

Fit large round nozzles onto 2 piping bags. Fill one bag with the pumpkin mash and the other with the spinach mix. Get your little ones to pipe the pumpkin mash into one end of the cannelloni from the middle out. Fill the other half of each cannelloni tube with the spinach mix.

Lay the cannelloni into a baking dish and pour the tomato sauce over the pasta. Pour over the white sauce, scatter over the Emmental and the toasted pumpkin seeds, then bake in the oven for 45-60 minutes – until cooked through (al dente).

Place the cannelloni on plates and serve with some crunchy garlic bread or leafy green salad.

See all Cooking with Kids recipes

A recipe from the Great British Chefs vegetarian and main meals collection

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  • Ingredients

  • For the cannelloni

  • 250g (9oz) cannelloni tubes
  • 100g (3 1/2oz) Emmental cheese, grated
  • 125g (4oz) pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • For the fillings

  • 700g (1lb 9oz) pumpkin, peeled and diced
  • 1 dash vegetable oil
  • 3 pinches salt
  • 2 pinches black pepper
  • 500g (1lb 1oz) spinach
  • 40g (1 1/2oz) low fat cheese
  • 2 pinches of ground nutmeg
  • For the white sauce

  • 1/2 onion, peeled
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 6 cloves
  • 600ml (1pt) skimmed milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 25g (1oz) unsalted butter
  • 45g (3tbsp) plain flour
  • For the tomato sauce

  • 1 dash vegetable oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) balsamic vinegar
  • 500g (1lb 1oz) passata, sieved
  • 60g (4 tbsp) tomato purée
  • 15g (1 tbsp) caster sugar
  • 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
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  • Energy 2561kj 610kcal 30%
  • Fat 24g 34%
  • Saturates 13g 65%
  • Sugars 26g 29%
  • Salt 2.6g 43%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 71.5g Protein 31.1g Fibre 9.1g


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