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SPINACH AND RICOTTA FILLED CANNELLONI RECIPE BY TALLYRAND

This week's recipe comes after a request from someone living in British Columbia, Canada. Cannelloni is simply lasagne sheets that are filled and then rolled. Bought tubes can be used, but if one is making a pasta dish . . . why not make a real pasta dish!? Take the time and enjoy the experience, grab a glass of your favourite wine, crank up some great music and enjoy the preparation as much as the final product!

If you really want the full experience try making your own fresh pasta, it is so easy and therapeutic too!

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While this is essentially a vegetarian dish, I find it lends itself really well to adding something smoked: shredded smoked such as chicken meat, (cold) smoked salmon , flaked hot smoked salmon or other smoked fish, etc. Which may all be added when combining the spinach filling.

Lasagna / Cannelloni cooking

Method

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil (the bigger the pot the better)

  • Place two sheets of lasagne (at least 15 cm square) into the water and gently stir back to the boil (this should take no more than 2 minutes

  • Cook the lasagne sheets until cooked (follow the manufacturers instructions)

  • Carefully remove from the water and place in a bowl of cold water to halt the cooking process

  • Bring the salted, water back to the boil

  • Repeat steps 2 - 4 until all your lasagne sheets are cooked

Fresh Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

Italian peeled tomatoes (tinned with juice)
400
gm
onion
1
pc
garlic clove
2
pc

Method

  • Lightly cook (do not brown) the finely chopped onion in a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil over a low to medium heat. Do not worry about too much about the oil, it will emulsify and become part of the sauce

  • Add the finely sliced garlic to taste (slice it do not crush or chop it), cook for 5 minutes to release the aromas

  • Add the tomatoes with the juice and simmer until a rich, thick sauce is obtained: approximately 30 minutes. The tomatoes will break up during the cooking process, but may be chopped up before placing in the pan

  • Season to taste and set aside until required

Filling

shallots
2
pc
cooked spinach
1
cup
ricotta cheese
1
cup
fresh basil leaves   sq
fresh mint leaves   sq

Method

  • Lightly cook the finely chopped shallots in a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil

  • Add the well drained (squeezing it to remove the moisture is best) and roughly chopped spinach and stir until heated through

  • Place in a clean bowl and stir through the ricotta

  • Add some torn basil and mint leaves to taste and season with sea salt, freshly milled black peppercorns and nutmeg

Putting it all together

  • Lay the lasagne sheets out

  • Take spoonfuls of the filling and spread along the centre of the lasagne sheets

  • Roll then fairly tight (but not too tight) being careful to allow a good 2 - 3cm overlap so they do not unravel

  • Lightly oiled or butter baking dish and season lightly with salt, freshly milled pepper and nutmeg

  • Place in the filled cannelloni (with the overlap on the bottom)

  • Pour over the hot tomato sauce and place in a pre-heated oven (170ºC) for 20 - 30 minutes

  • Finish with a generous amount of shaved parmesan, top with a nice basil leave sprig and serve

Chef's Tip:

I love to use extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and freshly milled pepper and nutmeg. Virgin olive oil, normal salt and pre-ground pepper and nutmeg can be used, but the flavours are only 10% as good.

Olive oils while still a 'fat' contains no cholesterol

Serve with good crusty bread, freshly tossed salad, your favourite wine and
good friends!

Enjoy and bon appetit . . . . .

Chef's terminology:

  lt
=
litres   tsp = teaspoon
  ml
=
millelitres   tbs = tablespoon
  kg
=
kilograms   sq = sufficient quantity (add to taste)
  gm
=
grams   pc = piece, meaning a whole one of

Tallyrand
Recipe from professional
Chef Tallyrand

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