Cannelloni au Brocciu et aux Epinards = Cannelloni with Ricotta and Spinach

Another great classic of Corsican cuisine, the cannelloni stuffed with brocciuand 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.

Serves 4:

  • 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

 

  1. Gently fry the onion and celery in the olive oil. When golden, add the spinach.
  2. Put in a mixing bowl and add the brocciu. Mix well .
  3. Using a spreading knife, start filling the cannelloni tubes.
  4. Drizzle some olive oil in an oven-proof dish, pour a layer of Béchamel over and start placing the cannelloni on top.
  5. 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.

Bon Appétit!

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)

Pain au Brocciu et au Figatellu (Brocciu and Figatellu Bread)

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Soupe Improvisée au Boursin = Improvised Soup with Boursin

With very little time to prepare something warm, this little improvisation worked a treat.

As usual, a quick look in the fridge to check which vegetables were available set up this little soup.  I also used some carrots and celery I had cooked previously and topped the soup with a Boursin.

The contrast of the liquidised vegetables and the sliced carrots and celery was pleasant.

 

Serves 4:

  • 2 leeks, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 courgette, peeled and sliced
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • a little salt and pepper
  • 1/2 garlic and herbs Boursin (you can also use a garlic and herbs Philadelphia)

 

  1. Put all the fresh vegetables and the stock cube in a pressure cooker with sufficient water to cover them and cook for a short time. Season with salt* and pepper.
  2. Whizz and reserve.
  3. Add the carrots and celery. Stir in the Boursin and serve immediately.

 

Bon Appétit!

Tip: * only use a little salt as the stock cube is already salted.

Alouettes sans Tête or Little Beef Parcels

The title of the dish really translates as “larks without heads”, which would seem very off-putting were it not for what it actually covers.
In a country where people are very happy to go hunting and eat small birds,
it would be natural to evolve a dish with that name.
However, I am happy to say that you will not need small birds but very tender and thinly cut minute beef steaks.
So, you can continue feeding the small birds in your garden without any pangs of conscience.

In Corsica, the beef is replaced with veal escalopes.
Most butchers sell rosé veal and you may prefer to try that.

This dish is cooked without any added fat and freezes well.

Serves 4:
8 very thin minute beef steaks ( approximately 80 or 90g each)
3 smoked back bacon rashers, fat removed
2 small carrots
1 branch celery
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 small onion
A handful of flat leaf parsley
10 pitted black olives
Tomato sauce, home made if possible, or a tin of chopped tomatoes
300 ml red wine
100ml water
Salt and pepper to season ( Remember that the bacon and the olives will provide salt)

1. Put the bacon, onion, garlic, celery, parsley and carrots in a food processor and whiz. Cook quickly in a non-stick frying pan without any fat. ( The bacon will provide enough fat).

2. When this filling is cooked, put a tablespoon in the middle of each steak and fold the meat carefully to seal the filling in. To ensure that the parcel remains closed,you have 2 options: using a wooden toothpick, pierce the layers of meat firmly, or using strong white cotton thread and tie the meat.
(One disadvantage of using cotton thread is that you need either scissors or a very sharp steak knife to undo the parcel and the sauce may splash a little).

3. Put the tomato sauce in a pressure cooker and place the meat parcels delicately on top. Pour the wine and add the olives. Cover with the water.
Cook for 15 minutes.
Serve with tagliatelle or any other pasta of your choice.

Bon Appétit!

Gallery

Let’s celebrate the 14th July Provençal style!

Hey! It´s the 14th July, so let´s celebrate in true Provençal style with an anchoïade.
This will not take long to prepare and will let the fireworks of flavours explode on your tastebuds.
Gather a few friends and share!

For 8 people, you will need:
6 medium-size carrots
2 green sweet peppers
2 red sweet peppers
2 yellow sweet peppers
1 celery heart
2 small anchovy tins (in olive oil)
1 tablespoon of capers
4 garlic cloves, peeled

1. Rinse all the vegetables.
2. Peel the carrots, top and tail them. Cut them into strips
3. Cut the peppers open and remove all the seeds. Cut them into strips.
4. Separate the celery stalks.
5. Arrange all the vegetables in alternate colours in a big serving dish, leaving a space in the middle to place the ramequin containing the anchoïade.
6. In a food blender, whizz the anchovies with their olive oil, capers and garlic cloves.
7. Pour the mixture into the ramequin.

Serve with a very cool rosé .

You can add other vegetables, such as cauliflower florets, radishes, as long as they can be cut into strips to dip into the anchoïade.

This is very healthy and part of the Mediterranean diet. It is also very convivial.