I love Italian cuisine, its simplicity and beauty. The Taste of Italy is one of my favourite Italian cookbooks. I tried out many recipes featured in that book and each time it has been a great success. Today, I have got something absolutely mouthwatering for you! It is easy to prepare and it’s a delicious evening dish that goes very well with a simple salad and a glass of chilled white wine. Spinach, ricotta, mozzarella and Parma ham – an amazing winning combination.
You will need:
12 dry cannelloni
225 g baby spinach
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
3 slices Parma ham, chopped (omit for a vegetarian option)
125 g Mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
200 g Ricotta cheese
1 handful of grated Parmesan cheese
250 ml white sauce (béchamel)
25 g butter or 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pinch nutmeg
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
small basil leaves to decorate
The basic white sauce recipe:
25 g butter, 25 g plain flour, 250 ml milk, pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, salt and pepper
Melt the butter over a medium heat. Whisk in the flour. Pour in the milk, whisking constantly until it starts to boil. Season. Lower the heat. Simmer gently for 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Check the seasoning add the nutmeg.
Prepare the white sauce.
Preheat the oven to 200 ℃.
Heat the butter or olive oil in a frying pan, add the garlic and ham and fry briefly. Add the spinach and gently cook for aprox. 4 minutes util nice and soft. Remove from the heat and add the Mozzarella, Ricotta and the handful of Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, add the nutmeg.
Fill each of the cannelloni with the above stuffing.
Lightly grease an ovenproof dish. Pour over some of the white sauce. Lay the cannelloni on top of the white sauce. Pour over the remaining (bigger half) of the white sauce. Sprinkle over with 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes. The topping should be lightly golden when cooked. Decorate the dish with a few basil leaves. Serve hot.
It is a really tasty dish – I know you will love it :)