Monday, 27 July 2015

Three Cheese Cannelloni

You know the expression, "everything is going pear shaped"? No? well this Australian expression means "things are not going as expected"

So I had an arthroscopy on my knee in April and I expected it to be a breeze and I would be back walking in a couple of weeks!  Needless to say that didn't happen.

Now, after 15 weeks of pain, swelling, feelings of utter desperation, physiotherapy visits and lots of strapping, I may be reaching a turning point! Albeit, fingers crossed, rabbit foot lucky charms and black cats  - it will be fine in 5 weeks when I leave to go to the UK to walk The Thames Pathway . That's a lot of kilometres to walk while carrying a back pack.

Intense gym sessions and extended walks over the next few weeks have to be high on my list or I will never make the distance.

In celebration of seeing 'the light at the end of the tunnel', I am cooking one of my favourite fast pasta dishes. Three Cheese Cannelloni! It has nothing to do with pears either, but it got you interested.

I first made this dish about 15 years ago and I have served this to most of the people I know and everyone agrees it is pretty darn good.

Three Cheese Cannelloni


Dried or fresh Cannelloni (approximately 15 tubes)
350 fresh ricotta cheese (the package supermarket wont do)
2 eggs
100g grated parmesan cheese
handful of Italian parsley, finely chopped
200g Mozzarella grated
few chives finely chopped

salt and pepper

For the sauce

jar of Passata or large tin of diced tomatoes
1 onion finely chopped
3 tomatoes, roughly chopped
fresh basil chopped
handful of Italian parsley, finely chopped
2 tbls tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbls olive oil
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper

  • Start the sauce first. In a large fry pan heat oil and sauté onion and garlic until soft but not coloured.
  • Add tomatoes and cook for a few minutes. Lower the heat and add passata or tinned tomatoes, chopped parsley, basil,bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste. 
  • Continue to cook for 10 minutes then add tomato paste. Continue to cook for a further 20 - 30 minutes until the tomatoes are nicely broken down and the sauce is thick. 
  • Check seasonings and adjust if necessary.
  • While the sauce is cooking, mix up the cheese stuffing. In a large bowl add parmesan, ricotta, eggs, parsley, chives, salt and pepper and mix together gently.
  • Spoon the egg and cheese mixture into a large piping bag and pipe the mixture into the cannelloni shells and place in a single layer in an oven proof dish.

  • When the sauce is ready, remove the bay leaf and pour the sauce over the cannelloni. Sprinkle the top with mozzarella cheese. bake in a pre heated oven 180º/350 for 30 minutes until the top is nicely browned.
  • Serve with a green salad and crusty bread.
Note: You can change the type of cheese in the cannelloni to suit your taste. Also you can add chopped wilted spinach to the cheese, which is really yummy.

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