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Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni

This flavor-packed dish is typically Italian and perfect for vegetarians. Although you can sneak some ham in there if you are a diehard carnivore, the wealth of flavors in here means you are not going to miss the meat at all. We are using spinach for the filling, as well as some creamy ingredients in the form of ricotta and parmesan cheeses, béchamel sauce, and an egg to help hold everything together. The only seasonings are nutmeg, salt and black pepper, since all the flavor comes from the pasta, spinach and cheeses.

This is very simple to make and it looks impressive when served. We like to garnish the finished cannelloni with a sprig of basil just to add more color to the plate, but you can use any kind of herb you want. It is going to be very hot when it comes out of the oven so let the dish sit on the countertop for 10 minutes, and perhaps use that time to toss some salad ingredients together, since that would be a great side dish, or you might prefer another type of side dish such as garlic bread or sliced tomatoes drizzled with balsamic vinegar and a little extra-virgin olive oil.

Use fresh spinach if possible, for a fresher flavor. Bear in mind it holds on to a lot of water so once it is cool enough to handle you will need to wring the spinach several times to get all that water out. If you have time, let it sit in a colander over the sink for an hour before continuing with the recipe. That is also helpful in getting rid of the water. As for the cannelloni, you can either buy the readymade tubes (which is easier) or roll your own flat squares up. If you are new to cannelloni, use the tubes unless you especially want to make your own pasta, which is for more advanced home cooks! Continue reading

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi I'm Christine, and I am happy you are visiting. Food is a large part of our family's lives, and we love to try new dishes, especially Italian food which offers so much freshness and flavor, whether you are making a classic Italian dish like lasagna or pizza, or experimenting with new appetizers, entrées or desserts from Italy.

Even if you are brand new to this cuisine, you will be able to find all kinds of tempting recipes here. I have been collecting classic Italian recipes, all conveniently in one place, along with unusual recipes from Italy plus some dishes inspired by Italian cuisine.

When the weather is cold, a baked pasta dish or juicy pork or veal recipe might be ideal. During the summer months, an Italian salad might be your dish of choice. We have vegetarian recipes, Italian soups, and even tips on how to work with Italian ingredients for the best results, whether you are making lasagna, gnocchi or an Italian casserole


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