Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Broccoli and tofu filled cannelloni

I used to have a bit of a love/hate relationship with cannelloni. Eating it was always a joyful experience but stuffing the pasta tubes with messy filling tested my patience and made me a little grumpy on occasion. My last few experiences with making cannelloni have been more enjoyable and rewarding using home-made pasta and it tastes so much better. Those old ready-made tubes have become a convenience of my past I'm not sure I will ever go back to now. 

Although cannelloni has appeared on my blog once before I wanted to revisit a few things as I am the type of person who rarely makes something the same way twice. I purchased semolina flour recently (mainly for the purpose of making pita bread) and went hunting around for a semolina based pasta recipe. The recipe I ended up trying cannot be judged properly at this stage as I made an error when adding the olive oil and used a tablespoon rather than a teaspoon. This could have been the cause of the dough being a little harder to work with than my usual pasta dough so I will have to give it another try with the correct measurements.

Instead of making a standard spinach and tofu filling, I opted to try broccoli and tofu and simply whizzed up all of the filling ingredients in my food processor. This cannelloni was sensational and although the dough was harder to work with, the resulting pasta was so soft and delicious it made the effort totally worthwhile. 

Broccoli and tofu filled cannelloni

Pasta dough (adapted from A (Life) Time of Cooking)
3/4 cup plain flour
3/4 cup semolina flour 
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil (I accidently used a tablespoon rather than a teaspoon)

Place the flours into a bowl, mix together thoroughly and make a well in the centre. Pour the water and olive oil into the well and work the flour into the water slowly until a slightly wet dough has formed. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and rest for 30 minutes.

Broccoli and tofu filling

1 head broccoli, cut into florets 
350g firm tofu
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper, to taste

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor bowl and pulse for about a minute. The resulting mixture should be soft and crumbly and the broccoli finely chopped.

Tomato sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
700ml jar tomato passata
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper, to taste 

Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan, add the onion and cook over a medium for a few minutes until the onion has softened. Stir through the garlic for a minute then add the tomato passata and basil. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes or longer. Add salt to taste. 

Cannelloni assembly

Use a pasta machine or rolling pin to roll out thin sheets of pasta. Cut out rectangular shapes of pasta measuring the width of your baking tray. Place a line of the filling down the centre of the pasta, then roll up to enclose the filling. Repeat until the pasta or filling runs out.

Spread about 1/4 of the tomato sauce over the bottom of your baking dish. Place the cannelloni tubes in the tray then cover with the remaining sauce. Cover with foil and bake in the oven at 180C for 30-40 minutes or until bubbling.


  1. This looks incredible. And I love that you made your own pasta dough. Delicious!

  2. Thanks Vaishali, I'm pretty hooked on making pasta sheets these days although I still haven't attempted something like fettuccine.

  3. I love the sound of this - have tried broccoli in a cheesy lasagna which was great but quite heavy so I think I would love it this way - I have bought myself a pasta machine and stuck it in the back of a cupboard so this inspires me to try some fresh pasta when I see how lovely your canneloni looks

  4. Thanks Johanna! I hope you dig your pasta machine out soon, will love to see what you make with it. I'm probably only using mine about once a month which doesn't feel like that much but the pasta is so delicious it's totally worth it.