This is not a quick dish by any means but the resulting green pasta is gorgeous, really tasty and totally worth the time. You could use the pasta recipe alone for ravioli or fettucini. I adapted what was a lasagne dish from A Platter of Figs into a rolled pasta topped with a tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. This is a great way to get in your veggies, especially if you aren't a fan of some of the more bitter greens. This recipe uses a mix of baby spinach, chard and curly mustard but it would work well with kale, rapini, etc. Prepared casserole should be refrigerated for a day before cooking, so be sure to plan ahead. Great for when you have a lot of time one day but know you will be rushed to make dinner the next. You can also save some time by using a jarred tomato sauce rather than make your own. - epicker —epicker
Test Kitchen Notes
I picked this recipe because it includes all my favorite ingredients and I wanted to work on my pasta-making skills. The pasta has a great color, taste and texture even though it was likely rolled a little thicker than epicker’s. The ricotta, mixed with the wilted garlic greens and lemon zest, was robust with flavor and yet light; I will be hard-pressed to not add lemon zest to all my ricotta! We ate the cannelloni for two meals over the weekend. My only regret is that I didn’t double the recipe and freeze some. This is a very good dish! - LLStone —LLStone
- Makes one 9x13 casserole dish
mixed greens (baby spinach and chard), chopped
all purpose flour, plus more sprinkling
olive oil (divided)
garlic cloves, minced (divided)
red pepper flakes
greens, rinsed well and roughly chopped (e.g., mix of baby spinach, chard, curly mustard)
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
28 ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes
small handful basil, torn
1 1/2 cups
mozzarella cheese, shredded
- For the pasta, combine greens, eggs, salt and olive oil in food processor fitted with metal blade. Puree until smooth.
- Transfer puree into a large bowl, stir in 2 cups flour. Knead in up to 1 more cup of flour until dough is no longer sticky. It may look dry, that is okay. Turn out onto counter sprinkled with a bit of flour and continue kneading until it comes together in a ball. Cover in plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature while you prepare the filling and sauce.
- In a large saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add 4 tablespoons garlic and cook for a few minutes but do not let it brown. Add red pepper flakes and then the greens. Stir and let greens wilt for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper then transfer to a colander to drain and cool.
- In a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese with lemon zest, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add remaining tablespoon of minced garlic and chopped onion. Cook for a few minutes until onion begins to soften. Add tomatoes (do not add liquid) and crush with a fork. Let simmer on low heat while you roll out the pasta.
- Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water and set next to the stove. Divide pasta dough into four sections and flatten each one slightly. Working with one section at a time, run pasta through machine at the lowest setting. Fold in half and repeat until pasta forms a rectangle the width of the pasta maker and about 6-7 inches long. Don't fret if it is crumbly or has holes at first, this will remedy itself. Next, run sheet of pasta through machine once at each number, working from 2 to about 5 or 6. You will have a very thin and very long sheet of pasta. Set aside (uncovered) on a well floured counter and repeat with remaining sections.
- When you have four long sheets of pasta, cut each sheet into rectangles roughly 8 inches long. You should have about 16-20 rectangles. Working with 2 at a time, drop into pot of boiling water for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Remove with a spatula and drop into bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Then place each sheet on kitchen towels to dry. Repeat until all pasta sheets are partially cooked, adding more ice to the bowl of ice water as necessary. Try to keep cooked sheets from touching each other, as they will stick. Don't worry about any small tears.
- Spray a 9x13 casserole dish with oil or cooking spray. Squeeze out any remaining liquid from the cooled greens, chop finely and add to ricotta mixture. Remove tomato sauce from heat. Add torn basil and then puree with an immersion blender until it is as smooth or chunky as you like.
- Working with one pasta sheet at a time, place on a cutting board with the short side facing you. Spread a scant tablespoon of filling along the side closest to you and roll away from you to form a cigar shape. Place in casserole dish parallel to the short side. Repeat with all pasta sheets - you will use about 16-18 sheets forming 2 layers.