Caramelised butternut, spinach & cheese rotolo

Caramelised butternut, spinach & cheese rotolo

This knock-out pasta parcel makes a brilliant veggie (or vegan if you follow the cook's tip in the method tab) showstopper. Each element can be prepped ahead so it’s just a case of assembling on the day – or it’ll also happily sit rolled in the fridge overnight. Short on time? Use fresh or dried lasagne sheets as in the vegan tip in the method.

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  • Serves6
  • CourseMain meal
  • Prepare50 mins
  • Cook1 hr 45 mins
  • Total time2 hrs 35 mins
  • Plusresting

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  • 1 large Essential Butternut Squash (about 1.2kg), peeled, seeds discarded and cut into 8 long wedges
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 200g Essential Unsalted Butter
  • 6 clove/s garlic, finely sliced
  • 450g Essential spinach
  • 500g cottage cheese (or you can use ricotta if you don't need this to be veggie)
  • 1 unwaxed lemon, zest of all, juice of ½
  • 30g vegetarian Italian hard cheese, finely grated
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 6 sprig/s rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
  • 40g pistachio kernels, finely chopped


  • 3 large eggs
  • 300g plain flour, plus extra for rolling


  1. Preheat the oven 200ºC, gas mark 6. To make the pasta, beat the eggs in a bowl until combined, then add the flour, mixing to a rough dough. Knead for 5 minutes or so, until smooth (it’s quite a dry mix but keep kneading – it will come together). Wrap and set aside.

  2. Put the butternut squash in a single layer on a foil-lined baking tray. Sprinkle with the sugar and a little salt, then dot with 50g butter. Roast for 45-50 minutes, until softened and starting to caramelise. Transfer to a medium bowl with all the juices and set aside.

  3. Meanwhile, heat 50g butter in a large, wide frying pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, until starting to turn golden. Stir in ½ the spinach, cooking for a few minutes until just wilting, before adding the rest and repeating. Season and transfer to a sieve. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze out the excess liquid from the spinach, then roughly chop and pat dry with kitchen paper. Put in a mixing bowl with the cottage cheese, lemon zest and juice and grated cheese; season. Using a fork, mash the roasted squash, then stir through the chilli flakes and ½ the rosemary.

  4. Roll out the pasta on a well-floured surface so that you have a rectangle about 35cm x 45cm. Lay the pasta sheet on a clean damp tea towel with one of the long sides facing towards you. Working quickly, spread the spinach mixture over the pasta, leaving a 2-3cm border. Dot the spinach mixture with the squash mixture and spread evenly. Lightly brush the exposed pasta with a little water, then use the tea towel to help you roll up the pasta like a Swiss roll. Press gently so the pasta seals on the exposed back edge and pinch in the ends like a Christmas cracker. Carefully slide the rotolo onto one end of the tea towel, seam-side down, and wrap the towel tightly around the pasta. Tie the ends tightly with kitchen string and then repeat, tying along the sausage at 10cm intervals.

  5. Boil a kettle and half-fill a deep roasting tin with the just-boiled water. Gently lay the rotolo in the tin, cover the tin tightly with foil, then bake for 50 minutes, until piping hot in the centre. Using tongs, carefully lift out the cooked rotolo and let it rest for 5 minutes.

  6. Unwrap the rotolo onto a large serving platter. Heat the remaining 100g butter in a small saucepan until melted. Add the chopped pistachios and remaining chopped rosemary. Cook, swirling the pan, until the pistachios and herbs are a rich golden colour (about 1-2 minutes) before pouring over the rotolo. Serve the rotolo cut into 3cm rounds.

Cook’s tip

Make it vegan

Replace all the butter in the recipe with olive oil and swap the cottage cheese for 2 x 280g packs firm tofu, finely crumbled. Add 3 tbsp nutritional yeast to replace the hard cheese, if liked. In a large pan of salted boiling water, cook 15 Essential Dried Lasagne Sheets for 3-4 minutes, until pliable but only partcooked. Drain and cool in a bowl of iced water. Lay these sheets on the damp tea towel in a 3 x 5 grid, overlapping them by about 2-3cm, so you have a roughly 35cm x 45cm rectangle of pasta. Fill, roll, wrap and cook the rotolo as in the main recipe.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


3,055kJ/ 733kcals



Saturated Fat












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