Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Pumpkin and Perpetual Spinach Cannelloni

The Perpetual Spinach seedlings I planted not that long ago are now producing an abundance of delicious green leaves. Perpetual Spinach is not a true spinach but a type of chard with young leaves that resemble baby spinach and that have a taste more like spinach than chard. The best thing about this amazing green is that the more you pick the leaves, the more the plant produces. It's a pick and come again leafy green which is such a generous thing to have growing in the veggie patch.

Perpetual Spinach growing happily in my garden.

I have been picking these highly nutritious leaves daily and using them in the meals we eat here. I shred them for wilting in breakfast omelettes. I toss them into healthy lunchtime salads. I combine them with other vegetables in our evening meal as I've done in this delicious cannelloni.

A delicious vegetarian cannelloni.

This recipe is an adaptation on Kate Di Prima's  Three Cheese and Pumpkin Cannelloni in the recipe book, "Kids Meals the Whole Family will Love".  If you don't have Perpetual Spinach growing in your garden, you could just as easily use baby spinach or some young silverbeet leaves.

Nutritious ingredients for a delicious cannelloni.

Pumpkin & Perpetual Spinach Cannelloni

80g cold mashed pumpkin
generous handful of fresh perpetual spinach leaves, chopped
200g fresh ricotta cheese
1/3cup grated tasty cheese
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon nutmeg
8-10 cannelloni tubes
500mL tomato passata
small handful fresh basil leaves
* finely grated parmesan cheese (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 200C.

2.  Mix together the cheeses, pumpkin, spinach and egg yolks in a large bowl. Season with 
     nutmeg. This is the filling for your cannelloni.

3. Scoop the filling into a piping bag and set aside.  (If you don't have a piping bag, place the
    filling in a clean plastic freezer bag and tie a knot at the top, later you can snip corner off 
    for filling to squeeze through:)

4. Finely chop basil and mix this through the tomato passata.

5. Cover the base of a greased or lined rectangular baking dish with about a third of the     
     passata. (* Make sure your can fit up to 10 cannelloni tubes side by side in your dish.)

6. Carefully pipe filling into each cannelloni tube laying them side by side on top of the
    passata that covers the base of your dish.

Filled cannelloni tubes in the baking dish.
8.  Pour remaining passata over the top of the filled cannelloni tubes so they are completely covered.

9.  Sprinkle finely grated parmesan over the top of the passata.

10. Bake in oven until cannelloni tubes are soft and top is golden brown.

Serve with a tossed salad or some steamed vegetables for a healthy, homemade meal. 

Perpetual Spinach is so easy to grow and it's such a versatile veg. There are so many ways that you can use it once you have it growing in your garden. Omelettes, salads, pies, stir fries, soups, spanakopita or ... cannelloni!



  1. Oh I love Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni, I haven't made it for ages, I'm putting it on next week's menu right now!

    Where did you get the Perpetual Spinach from in the first place? Seed or Punnet? I can't say I've ever seen it for sale around here.

    1. Hi, Cheryl. I got a couple of punnets of seedlings from our city farm's nursery. You might be able to get seeds from somewhere like Diggers or Succeed Heirlooms Australia.

      Enjoy your cannelloni next week! Meg:)

  2. Good morning Meg, that recipe sounds delicious, thanks give another fab recipe, have a lovely day.

    1. Hope you are enjoying your week away up there on Noosa's North Shore, Fiona. The weather's gorgeous! Meg:)

  3. Meg I let my perpetual spinach go to seed last year and thought it would come up again this year but nothing has appeared as yet so I put in some new plants. Thanks for the recipe. I need to make some ricotta cheese and give it a try.

    1. Hopefully you'll be harvesting soon from your new plants, Chel. I just find this "spinach" to be fast growing and so you are harvesting quickly which is great! Meg:)

  4. I love spinach too Meg. As I was buying some kale seedlings today I almost picked up some spinach. Hadn't heard of perpetual spinach before though. I think it just may grow well in our garden as I would be picking those leaves every single day.

    Thanks for the recipe. Been years since I made a cannelloni dish. I think the kids will like this.


    1. It's a great veg to grow, Kylie, if you can find seeds or seedlings for it. I got my seedlings from our city farm's nursery but seeds can be ordered online too. Try somewhere like Diggers Club or Succeed Heirlooms Australia. I hope your children enjoy the cannelloni! Meg:)

  5. Looks great Meg bet it tasted good as well. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

    1. Yes, it's makes for a lovely meal. In the cooler months, we have it with some steamed vegetables and in the warmer months with salad. Meg:)

  6. Meg make sure you go for your walk at the Dam. We did a 1.5 hour walk which seems like nothing when you are walking around such a pretty place. The good thing is it's all in the shade and half of it is fairly flat and the other half there is a bit of a hill but you get to come back down the other side. We loved it. You can also hire water craft there too. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

    1. We've walked there before but haven't for a long time so must do it again soon. This weather is perfect for walking! Meg:)

  7. that looks yummy, haven't had cannelloni in ages.

    1. I love cannelloni, particularly vegetarian versions. It's always delicious! Meg:)

  8. YUM!

    I am saving this recipe to try. Thank you Meg!


    1. It's delicious and healthy, Tania. Great for using up leftover mashed pumpkin and garden spinach. Meg:)