14 March 2007
what's cooking wednesday: cannelloni with ricotta & spinach

Let the fun continue! This week's What's Cooking Wednesday is another remnant of the Calabrian Women's Summit this past weekend. At Cherrye's, we ate some delicious ricotta and spinach tortellini, and I casually mentioned that I had been wanting to make ricotta and spinach cannelloni.

So Cherrye's fiancé, Peppe, printed me out a recipe on the spot, and other than the dash of nutmeg, it's what you see below. It's really easy, but it is a little time-consuming with all the filling of the cannelloni--about an hour and a half from start to finish (40 minutes of that is cooking time, though).

I was happy to hear that Peppe didn't recommend putting besciamella over the whole thing, because although I love creamy things, P would never go for it. I made a quick, basic tomato sauce for on top, but you can also use your favorite jarred sauce (rumor has it).

Cannelloni with Ricotta & Spinach (Cannelloni ricotta e spinaci)

(serves 4)

400 g chopped spinach
500 g ricotta
30 g grated parmegiano reggiano
1 egg yolk
Salt to taste
Dash of nutmeg
Cannelloni shells

If you're making your own sauce, start that first; if you are using a jarred sauce, you can wait until after you chopped the spinach to heat it up.

I used frozen spinach, which comes in small cubes here (not sure about anywhere else as I've only bought it here); this makes it very easy to chop finely while still frozen--especially if you have a mezzaluna. If you
use fresh spinach instead of frozen, you'll need to boil it and then be sure it's completely cooled off before adding it to the ricotta.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, spinach, egg yolk, salt, and grated cheese. I should mention here that I used cannelloni shells that require no pre-cooking; they can be placed straight into the oven. So, in that case, the next step would be to put a layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking dish large enough to hold the cannelloni and then fill the shells with the mixture, placing each completed cannelloni in the pan. Oh, and only put them in one flat layer.

If you use cannelloni shells that must be pre-cooked, boil them before you fill them; be sure to leave them a little more than al dente because they will be cooking more in the oven.

Put another thin layer of sauce over the cannelloni and grate cheese on top. Then place the dish in the oven and bake at 390°F (200°C) for about 40 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes before serving, and then dig in.

Buon appetito!

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Blogger Cherrye said...

I showed Pep the pic and he was very impressed...I think we are having chicken for lunch, again...oh well. ;)

Blogger Giulia said...

Yuuuum, that looks delicious! I use the cubed frozen spinach here too. OROGEL to be exact.
It cuts down on prep time so much and it actually tastes good too!

I was going to say "yummy", but Rachel Ray ruined that word for me so I will say the dish looks delicious.

Blogger stefanie said...

Yum. I haven't even had my breakfast yet, but that looks tastier than the bagel I have planned.

Blogger Christine said...

Yay for pasta! I ended up making the lasagna for my sick coworker. I figured now was the best time since she should fatten up before chemo. No hard boiled eggs though, mostly because even though my family loves it, I could see how not everyone would.

Anonymous bella said...

This looks so yummy and I am soo hungry! I'm thinking about dinner now. I might try this.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Wednesdays, thank you for sharing what you do.

And I loved the "Conversations with P" post. All relationships should have balance. Your beloved made the connection beautifully.

Blogger Wendy said...

Looks yummy! I haven't eaten yet today so I'm totally drooling.

Blogger Indiana Amy said...

Hi! This is Amy revisiting you from the blog party. What a great thing that was to get to know other women bloggers out there. I'm glad I came back to your blog too, so much fun! I love the idea of the summit, that's awesome! Oh, and I'll have to try this recipe. Anything Italian inspired is delicious!

Take care!

Blogger Annika said...

I love to see that you're actually making food that does well on photos ;) Looks delicious!!

Blogger Catherine said...

Yum. I love what's cooking wednesdays. Although, I wish I could eat and not just read. :)

Blogger Shan said...

I had forgotten that my Mom used to make this all the time when we were kids. It was one of my favourites. Thanks for the memory.

Anonymous Kristen said...

Those look incredible!!

I'm a new reader to your blog. Thanks so much for posting this recipe. I made it last night and it was delicious and so easy!

Anonymous just me said...

Thanks for reminding me how easy it is to make. I will be trying your recipe soon. Yummy!!

Blogger Jilli said...

I made this over the weekend and it was Great! Thanks for the idea...

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