I love random recipe books and I’ve got plenty on my shelves. One I use a lot is my Philadelphia cookbook. I always have cream cheese in the fridge because it’s great for both savoury and sweet dishes. Plus I can use it on my keto diet.
Most of the recipes are easily adapted to taste and there are several we eat quite a lot. They’re quick and go down well with all the family. One is the tomato and bacon lasagne, the other is a similar base, tomato and pepper cannelloni. But I combine the 2 tomato bases for interest. Mainly because the OH won’t eat any main meal if there’s no meat (or fish) in it, but also to make it a bit more substantial. I’ve also added pieces of cooked chicken in the past too, which works well enough.
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And so the tomato, pepper and bacon cannelloni is a regular in my repertoire. Did you know that the average Brit only has 6 dishes in their cooking repertoire. Counting mine up, there’s certainly some favourites that get rolled out all the time but I’ve got about 20 regular dishes I serve up at home, with variations in between and a couple we reserve for when It’s just N and myself cooking, or others I’ll cook when they’re not in.
Anyway, I do doctor the recipe. Like most tomato based dishes, I’ll add in whatever veg I have – courgette, bit of spinach, spring onion. Whatever needs using up. Basically you can add anything you fancy – remove the bacon, add beans, or mushrooms. Whatever you like. Even when I add in veg that N isn’t keen on usually (cooked pepper), he’ll eat all the filling in this dish, not picking out all the onion and pepper he moans about. It’s always a result when there are no moans.
For the pasta I use fresh chilled lasagne because it doesn’t need long in hot water to make it soft. You could use dried lasagne sheets but it’ll take longer to soften enough to roll up.
If you are being really lazy or the children don’t like lumps of tomato, or like I often do, want to top up the amount of tomatoes I have, you can also add some tomato sauce. I always have a tub of chilled tomato and basil pasta sauce in the fridge because it’s so handy and versatile. But you can use whatever tomatoes you want – pasta sauce, passata or tinned chopped tomatoes. Just vary the amount according to how much filling you need.
The topping you can make a proper cheese sauce – check out my microwavable no hassle cheese sauce if you need an easy recipe. But I prefer to go really lazy and just use the cream cheese/chedday cheese combo that the original recipe suggests. It makes it a lighter feeling dish in taste, a bit more summery. And it’s so fast to do.
All you do is cook up the tomato mix filling, while softening the lasagne. Put filling in the lasagne and roll it up, then top with the cheesy topping and bake. You can make the filling in advance. I usually prep it all an hour before I’m serving up, so it’s ready just to pop in the oven. You don’t want to leave it made up any earlier otherwise the pasta might dry out and crack.
Bacon, tomato and pepper cannelloni recipe
If youre after the alternative keto option which uses the same basic filling, you’ll find it below the recipe.
Tomato, pepper and bacon cannelloni
Quick and simple cannelloni, using tomato, bacon and pepper filling, with a cheesy cream cheese topping
- 6 sheets lasagne chilled preferably, rather than dried
- 1 red pepper diced
- 1 red onion deseeded and diced
- 4 tomatoes chopped (more if cherry tomatoes)
- 1 garlic clove peeled and crushed
- 1 pack cubed pancetta or 6 rashers of back bacon, chopped
- seasoning pepper, basil, oregano
- 150 g cream cheese
- 3 tbsp milk
- 1 handful grated cheddar You can use other hard cheese like parmesan
- 4 tbsp tomato and basil pasta sauce optional
- 1/2 ball mozzarella optional
In a little oil, fry the pancetta or bacon until cooked, remove and keep warm
Add the onion, pepper, garlic to the pan and cook until soft
Add tomatoes (and optional tomatoes and basil sauce if using), and add the bacon/pancetta back in. Cover and simmer the tomato mix until all warmed through and the tomatoes are cooked down a little.
Prepare the lasagne sheets to soften them by leaving them in a shallow dish of hot water. Then when pliable, remove the lasage and dry off on a bit of kitchen town or clean tea towel.
Spoon some tomato mix on one end of a lasagne sheet (widthways) and roll up. Then place in a shallow oven proof dish
Repeat for all the lasagne sheets (assume 2-3 per person depending on appetite).
In a bowl, stir the cream cheese to soften. Add some milk to thin it out and make it more spreadable. You want a thick but pourable topping.
Stir in grated cheese, season with a little black pepper. Spoon over the rolled up cannelloni. The amount you’ll need will depend on how much topping you want and the size of your dish. You can make up some more as required. (Optional, top with mozzarella pieces for extra cheesy crispiness)
Bake in a preheated oven until the cheese topping is golden brown and crispy, around 30 minutes. (200C).
Serve with green salad and new potatoes or garlic bread.
I add mozzarella on top of the cheesy topping because we like it extra cheesy and crispy. You could just add more cheddar on top
Alternative: Keto bacon tomato and pepper ‘lasagne’
If you’re on a low carb diet, it’s easy enough to tweak the recipe. I just make the tomato mix. Then instead of using pasta, I chop thin slanted slices of courgette, and use this like lasagne, layering the courgette with tomato mix. If you cut the slices thin enough you may be able to roll them up, but you’d probably have to place them in a dish sideways to keep them in shape. That’s too much effort for me.
Finish with a layer of courgette and top with the cheesy topping. Cook for the same time, and you’ll find it’s really delicious.
Let me know if you make this cannelloni recipe. Check out my Amazon affiliate link if you want to buy the Philadelphia cookbook.
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What are your favourite recipe books?
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