Put that over grown courgette to good use with this tasty mock Cannelloni ! Vegetarian, vegan, low fat and gluten free. For the meat eaters I like to fill the courgette with my ragu, tastes delicious with a few chips alongside.
Place the casserole on a medium heat and add the oil followed by the finely chopped onion. Give a good stir then drop the heat to its lowest, put the lid on and leave the onions to sweat for ten minutes until they become soft and translucent. Take off the lid, turn up the heat then add the finely chopped vegetables, give a regular stir and allow the vegetables to brown slightly. This browning of the edges of the vegetables will give extra flavour to the finished dish. Turn down the heat then add the wine if using and allow this to fizz and deglaze the base of the pan. If not using the wine move on to the next stage and simply add the passata, tomato puree, herbs, olives, capers and seasoning. Cook on a low heat uncovered for 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the sauce is thick. Taste and check the seasoning – adding more salt and pepper if necessary. Set aside and allow to cool.
To make the Canneloni
Slice your over grown courgette into length way slices – (a mandolin will give perfect slices if you have one), lay on kitchen roll or a clean tea towel – pat dry both sides.
Heat a dry frying pan or better still a skillet to piping hot then I spray oil onto one side of the courgette slice, fry quickly for a minute or two until the surface is brown then flip over, fry the other side and remove to a plate. Use any oil though sesame gives a great flavour.
Take each fried slice of courgette and fill with a couple of tablespoons of cold vegetable ragu sauce (or meat ragu) then roll up and place into the prepared dish.
Continue with the filling and rolling until your dish is full and the little rolls are tightly packed.
Season with salt and pepper.
To make the sauce
In a medium sized saucepan place the butter, flour, milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir over a low heat until the butter melts then turn up the heat and stir continually until the sauce thickens. Cook for a further minute with the heat reduced then add about 100g of the grated cheese. Stir well then pour over the dish of filled courgette strips.
Scatter the remainder of the cheese over and a grating of fresh parmesan if desired.
Bake at 200°C (Gas Mark 6, 400°F) for 40-50 minutes until dark golden brown and bubbling. Leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving.
Can be cooked from frozen but allow one hour to one hour 15 minutes.
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