A perfect Summer dish for using up some fresh basil pesto that you might have in your fridge desperate to be used! Light tasting and full of Summer flavours, this dish is sure to become a family favourite. Serve with some steamed seasonal greens or a nice crisp salad and once you have tried the original recipe why not mix things up a bit by using some Spicy Red Pesto or your favourite version of pesto. If you aren't a fan of Goats cheese you could try using Boursin, Ricotta or even cream cheese.
There are a few things to note about this recipe…. First of all regarding the tomato sauce, due to my husband's dislike to tomato chunks I always blend my tomatoes or use passata (sieved tomatoes). If you prefer a smooth sauce blend away otherwise keep the sauce chunky! Secondly, the lasagna sheets that I buy are quite large so I cut them in half – if yours are smaller don’t bother cutting them. Finally, I use a rectangular glass Pyrex dish to cook my cannelloni in – approximately 9” x 13 ½” – and it fits perfectly. If you don’t have a similar dish use what you do have – you can always cut the cannelloni to make them fit! This is real, fresh home cooking at its best.
For the Tomato Sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 x 400g (or 1 x 28oz) tin of chopped tomatoes
250ml passata (sieved tomatoes or alternatively add another tin of chopped tomatoes blended)
1 tsp dried oregano or fresh if you have it
½ tsp chilli flakes (optional)
1 tsp sugar
150ml chicken stock or white wine
Salt and Pepper
For the Filling:
300g soft goats cheese, at room temperature
5 tbsp basil pesto
Squeeze of lemon juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 packet of fresh (no need to pre-cook) lasagna sheets (I get 6 large sheets per pack)
Small handful of fresh basil leaves
Extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/GM 6.
Start by making the tomato sauce. In a medium sized pan heat the olive oil then gently cook the onions for roughly 5 minutes or until softened but not coloured. Add the garlic and cook for another minute before adding the tomatoes, oregano, chilli (if using), sugar, stock or wine, salt and pepper. Leave to simmer for 20 - 25 minutes until thickened slightly (you don't want to over reduce it as otherwise by the time it has been in the oven it will have dried out too much). Taste to check the seasoning then leave to cool slightly.
While the sauce is simmering make the filling by mixing all of the ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. In a large rectangular oven dish (see notes in intro) put enough tomato sauce to lightly cover the bottom. Cut each sheet of lasagna in half then put a couple of spoonful’s of the filling in the middle of a piece of lasagna, then using your fingers spread it out slightly like a sausage then roll up the lasagna sheets around it. Add the lasagna rolls to the dish, making sure they are tightly packed together (I have 10 in a row then the remaining 2 lengthwise along the 10). When you have rolled them all, top with the rest of the tomato sauce. Sprinkle over a good grating of some fresh parmesan then cover with tin foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, removing the foil for the last 5 minutes. When ready to serve drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and scatter over the torn basil leaves and a little extra parmesan.