The Red Folder

P1110517 (2)

Best ever no meat cannelloni

Basically, you can stuff your pasta with anything using this recipe and it will taste yummy.  Just remember to have 1. A protein. I am using Tofu here, but cottage cheese, ricotta, raw egg mixed into  breadcrumbs are all good alternatives.  2. Add a crunch.  Lentils for me this time, but pinenuts, nuts, raw celery or seeds will work.  3. Choose a veggie.  In this recipe, I will use mushrooms but you can swap it out with spinach, pumpkin, beetroot (with feta) these are only a few options, go wild.  For the tomato sauce either used a good quality jar brand pasta sauce or make you own quick cheat sauce.  See below.

Simply chop 1 onion finely and saute in 2 tbsp of neutral oil.  As this is starting to cook, peel and press 4 cloves of garlic add to the pan.  When the onion and garlic is translucent add two cans of tomatoes.  Chopped, whole, with garlic, with Oregano I am never fussy (never with chilli).  Now season with a good pinch of salt ground black pepper and add any herbs you fancy at this stage.

When I have a glut of tomatoes I use fresh, simply quarter, deseed and cook down slowly.

With this mixture, I use oregano, but thyme or even mixed herbs work well, about a tsp.  Now taste and add a sweetener should you wish.  Honey, Brown rice malt syrup or blue agave nectar if you have them.P1110510 (2)  Brown sugar will do, if you have nothing else, up to 3 tbsp of any of them is all you should ever need.  Let it come to the boil and simmer for a couple of minutes. BLEND. Stick blender, processor or even push through a sieve if nothing else is available. I usually double this recipe and keep it in an airtight jar in the fridge.  It is a great base sauce for a spag bol, nice over steamed veggies or over plain cooked pasta.


  • 4 tbsp neutral oil – rice bran
  • 1 onion or caramelised onions
  • 200g mushrooms, peeled and sliced or chopped
  • 1 Pkt tofu that has been frozen and defrosted about 400g remember you must squeeze all the moisture out of it first before using.
  • 2tbsp cream cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 can lentils, drained
  • lasagna sheets fresh or dried and soaked.  6 – 8 depending on what is being used.
  • tomato pasta sauce to cover 4 – 6 cups
  1. Peel and slice the onion and saute on a low to medium heat until translucent in half the oil.  Add the mushrooms and the rest of the  oil as necessary, for about another 5 minutes or until they are cooked.
  2. If using fresh pasta sheets cut them now into 6 equal pieces, roughly 100mm x 200mm. The rolls can be cut in half to fit into your dish.  If you are using dried pasta sheets put them in warm water now to soak.  This mix will fill about 8 of these smaller sheets
  3. In a large bowl mash the tofu.  I use my hands as I like it well-combined, but you can use a potato masher here. Add the cream cheese, oregano, salt and pepper then stir in the mushroom and onion mix together with the lentils.P1110056

To lift this up another notch, use caramelised onions instead of cooking the onion with the mushrooms. I often have a jar of this made up in the fridge . Peel and slice 6 brown onions, saute in about 6 tabs oil and 8 table honey, very, very slowly for at least 30 minutes. Your onions will be golden brown and sweet.  Replace the 1 onion with a couple of big spoonfuls of this mix.

4. Pat dry the soaked pasta dry now with paper kitchen towel and pop the oven on to preheat 150ºc. Lay the pasta sheets out on a clean bench or surface. Put some stuffing in the middle of one pasta sheet.  Fold one side over the mix and roll.  Stuff any mix back in that falls out and top up if necessary.  You can then repeat as you should have worked out how much mix you need.

5. Spread some tomato sauce over the base of your dish, place the rolls on top, seam side down and cover with more tomato sauce.  I use about 4 – 5 cups.  This will take about 40 minutes to bake in a low heat.  If you have not used another cheese in the filling you can sprinkle the top with a hard cheese, cheddar or Parmesan 10 minutes before the bake is ready to come out.

This dish will keep nicely for up to a week in the fridge.



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