Squash, spinach, mushroom and feta rotolo


A rotolo is kind of like a sideways lasagne or cannelloni – it looks impressive, but although like a lasagne there are a few components to it, it’s not difficult to make. It’s also not that heavy on pasta, so it’s lighter than lasagne and packed with vegetables.

Serves 4

3 sheets of fresh pasta
2 tablespoons grated parmesan

For the pasta filling:
1/2 medium butternut squash, or an equivalent size of other squash
2 sprigs sage, leaves stripped and roughly chopped
500g spinach
125g ricotta
150g feta
Nutmeg – ground or whole
200g mushrooms

For the tomato sauce:
2 cartons chopped tomatoes
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 onion
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves stripped, or 1 teaspoon dried
60g chorizo (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180C / gas 4.

Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds (these can be saved and roasted, if you like), and cut into two inch chunks. Roast for about 30 minutes until soft.

While it’s roasting, if you’re using the chorizo chop it into 1cm dice and fry them in a round casserole dish or medium oven-proof saucepan until crisp. Tip it out onto kitchen paper to drain, reserving a tablespoon of the chorizo oil in the saucepan. Dice the onion and sweat in either the chorizo oil or light olive oil until soft. Add the crushed garlic and thyme and cook for two minutes, then add the chorizo back in and tip in the tinned tomatoes. Season with black pepper and simmer for 5 minutes.

Roughly chop and fry the mushrooms until golden brown.

Wash the spinach and remove any tough stalks if necessary. Tip it, still wet, into a large saucepan, put a lid on and steam over a medium heat until wilted. Drain and roughly chop.

In a bowl mix the spinach, goat’s cheese, ricotta, black pepper and either a good grating of nutmeg or about 1/2 teaspoon of ground (adjust to your taste). Mash the roasted squash.

On a clean worksurface, lay out a pasta sheet horizontally. Brush both sides lightly with water then spread a tablespoon of mashed squash over the sheet, leaving 1cm bare at the top. Make the squash layer reasonably thin. Cover with the spinach and goat’s cheese mix, place a line of mushroom along the centre of the sheet, then roll the pasta up away from you like a Swiss roll. Lay it with the join underneath and slice into four pieces. Stand them upright in the tomato sauce. Repeat with the other two sheets of pasta.

Scatter the parmesan over the top, toss the sage leaves with a little olive oil and sprinkle those over, and then bake for 45 minutes until the top is crisp.