Another great classic of Corsican cuisine, the cannelloni stuffed with brocciu* and spinach make a healthy main course or starter, can be frozen, and are not difficult to prepare. It is an ideal dish for vegetarians but not for coeliacs, unless you are able to source some cannelloni tubes made without durum wheat semolina.
If it is not possible to find brocciu, replace it with ricotta cheese. As for the spinach, fresh leaves are better, but frozen ones will do nicely, too. You will just have to thaw them in advance before adding them to the onion, celery and brocciu mixture.
I have added some onion and a celery stick for extra flavour.
- 8 dry cannelloni tubes
- 200g spinach leaves
- 100g brocciu or ricotta
- 1 medium sized onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 celery heart stick, chopped
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- sauce Béchamel to cover
- 100g grated cheese, Cheddar or Emmental
- Gently fry the onion and celery in the olive oil. When golden, add the spinach.
- Put in a mixing bowl and add the brocciu. Mix well .
- Using a spreading knife, start filling the cannelloni tubes.
- Drizzle some olive oil in an oven-proof dish, pour a layer of Béchamel over and start placing the cannelloni on top.
- Cover with a generous layer of Béchamel, add some grated cheese on top, cover with foil and place in the oven at 180C for 45 minutes.
Serve with a cool dry white wine.
If you use this dish as an accompaniment, it goes well with meat or fish.
Note: If you can get Swiss chards, they replace the spinach and it is true to the traditional Corsican recipe.
Tip: It is important to have the cannelloni tubes resting on -and being covered with- a generous amount of sauce as the durum semolina needs to be well imbibed to cook.
* Find out more about brocciu here
Other recipe ideas using brocciu: Beignets de Brocciu (Ricotta Fritters)