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Cannelloni with Tomato Eggplant Sauce

Updated June 15, 2016
This image courtesy of Mark T. Shapiro

Here’s a great recipe for cannelloni that is remarkably easy to make. Oven-ready pasta is filled with ricotta and baby spinach and bathed in a tomato eggplant sauce. Add some crusty bread and a salad of roasted peppers or crisp greens for a terrific meal.

Serves8

Cooking MethodSlow Cooking

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timehalf-day

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe CourseMain Course

Dietary ConsiderationVegetarian

EquipmentCrock Pot

MealDinner

Taste and TextureCheesy, Savory, Umami

Type of DishBaked Pasta, Stuffed Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled, cut into 2-inch (5 cm) cubes
  • 2 tbsp (25 ml) olive oil 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced 
  • ¼ tsp (1 ml) freshly ground black pepper 
  • 3 cups (750 ml) tomato sauce 
  • 2 cups (500 ml) ricotta cheese 
  • ½ cup (125 ml) freshly grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 1½ cups (375 ml) chopped baby spinach 
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) freshly grated nutmeg 
  • 1 egg, beaten 
  • ¼ tsp (1 ml) salt 
  • ¼ tsp (1 ml) freshly ground black pepper 
  • 24 oven ready cannelloni shells 

Instructions

Sauce: In a nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add eggplant, in batches, and cook until it begins to brown. Add garlic and black pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, stir well and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.

Filling: In a bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan, spinach, nutmeg, egg, salt and pepper. Using your fingers, fill pasta shells with mixture and place filled shells side by side in slow cooker stoneware, then on top of each other when bottom layer is complete. Pour sauce over shells. Cover and cook on Low for 8 hours or on High for 4 hours, until hot and bubbling.

Notes

Be sure to use oven-ready cannelloni or manicotti in this recipe. It is a great time saver and it cooks to perfection in the slow cooker.

Make ahead: This dish can be prepared the night before it is cooked. Let tomato sauce cool before pouring over cannelloni. Refrigerate overnight in slow cooker stoneware and cook as directed.

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Yummy. I could not find no cook cannelloni so I used Manicotti, boiled them about 6 minutes. I had enough filling to do 12 not 24. Maybe manicotti are larger??

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