Cannelloni canapés with rocket basil pesto and macadamia ricotta

Megan May’s crisp raw cannelloni make an outstanding bite-sized canapé for a dinner party or an elegant amuse-bouche

  • 30 mins cooking
  • Makes 20 Item
  • Print


Macadamia ricotta
  • 1 cup macadamia nuts, soaked for 2-4 hours in cold water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4-1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast (optional)
Rocket basil pesto
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 3 good handfuls fresh rocket, picked and chopped
  • 3 good handfuls fresh basil, picked and chopped
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts or macadamia
  • extra virgin olive oil, to bind
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutritional yeast or 2 tablespoons pine nut parmesan (optional)
  • squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
  • 3 medium zucchinis, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to finish
  • 1 pinch sea salt, plus extra to finish
  • 40 fresh basil leaves


Cannelloni canapés with rocket basil pesto and macadamia ricotta
  • 1
    To prepare the macadamia ricotta, place all the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend on a medium setting, scraping down sides with a spatula as you go. The ricotta should be thick and fluffy. If you need to add more water, you can, just do it incrementally; don’t make the ricotta too runny as it won’t hold well in the cannelloni. Taste and add more salt and lemon juice if required. Store in the refrigerator until ready to assemble dish.
  • 2
    To prepare the pesto, pound garlic in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of sea salt and the rocket and basil leaves (or pulse in a food processor). Add pine nuts and pound again. Turn out into a bowl and gently mix in olive oil, you need just enough to bind the sauce and get it to an oozy consistency.
  • 3
    Season pesto to taste and add nutritional yeast or pine nut parmesan, if using. You can also add a squeeze of lemon juice at the end to give it a little zing, but it’s not essential. Store pesto in the refrigerator until ready to assemble the dish.
  • 4
    Using a mandoline, cut the zucchini into thin strips lengthways, approximately 2.5mm-3mm thick. Brush the slices with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
  • 5
    Lay out 2 layers of zucchini slices per cannelloni on a flat work surface with the short side facing you. Place 2 basil leaves at one end and layer with 1 heaped teaspoon of the macadamia ricotta and 1 teaspoon of the pesto. Roll into a circular shape and sit on a plate with the basil leaf-side at the bottom. Thread a bamboo skewer through the cannelloni if you like.
  • 6
    Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

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