After making and hugely enjoying Jamie Oliver’s Summer Veg Lasagne I was reminded of another vegetable pasta hybrid that appears in Jamie at Home. Like the Summer Veg Lasagne it contains mashed up vegetables flavoured with garlic and anchovies, which have been overcooked to intensify their taste. In fact, I prefer this dish to the Summer Veg Lasagne as it contains a tomato sauce that the vegetable-stuffed cannelloni sit in and a creme fraiche topping. After cooking this I stopped making béchamal sauce in the classic way; the creme fraiche method saves time, tastes fantastic and if you pair it with buffalo mozzarella (torn and scattered over the top) it elevates the sauce to an entirely new level.
Naturally such an impressive, flavour-packed dish requires a bit more effort; there’s no meal in 30 minutes here. Still, I have no hesitation in recommending it and if you enjoyed the Summer Veg Lasagne then I urge you to give it a go. Not only does it taste wonderful, it makes a good-sized portion and reheats well to be enjoyed later in the week.
The original recipe advises using seven cloves of sliced garlic and 500ml of passata. I used four crushed garlic cloves and 700ml of passata because I like to really taste the tomato in this dish and passata tends to come in 700ml quantities.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C and boil the kettle.
- Pour the boiled water into a large saucepan along with some salt and the chopped broccoli/cauliflower. Boil for 5-6 minutes then drain into a colander, reserving the water.
- Pour a splash of olive oil into a large saucepan (I used the saucepan I cooked the vegetables in) and add the garlic. Fry it for a minute then add the anchovies, anchovy oil, chillis and thyme. Fry for another minute then add the cooked broccoli and cauliflower along with 4 tbs of the reserved water. Stir well, reduce the heat and put a lid on the saucepan, leaving a small gap. Cook for around 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly and remove the lid for the last five minutes to allow the water to evaporate.
- Once the vegetables are nice and soft take a potato masher and crush the vegetables into a paste. Add salt/pepper to taste and allow the the mixture to cool.
- Pour the passata into an ovenproof dish that will comfortably house the cannelloni tubes (I used two 28cm dishes - if you're not sure put the dried cannelloni tubes into the dish to test). Drizzle over the red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt.
- Mix the creme fraiche in a bowl with half of the parmesan, a little salt/pepper and a few tablespoons of the reserved water from the vegetables.
- Once the vegetable mixture has cooled, transfer it to a piping bag (or a strong sandwich bag with the corner cut off) and squeeze the filling into the cannelloni tubes. Stuff each tube well and place on top of the passata in a single layer until you have used up all of the cannelloni tubes.
- Sprinkle the basil leaves over the cannelloni then pour over the white sauce. Season with some black pepper and the remaining parmesan then tear and distribute the mozzarella over the sauce.
- Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil then bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the topping has turned golden brown. Serve with griddled courgettes and some crusty bread.