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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Simple Moussaka

This is a quick and healthy moussaka that can be made even if you have just come back from a walk in the country, as was the case this week.  Eating blackberries on the way helped, of course!

It is not the recipe for a traditional moussaka and I replaced the lamb with bacon and did not use any cooking fat.

Serves 4:

  • 2 large aubergines
  • 1 big onion, peeled and sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 2 small carrots, peeled
  • 6 slices of back rashers smoked bacon
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
  • 5 slices emmental cheese
  • A handful flat leaf parsley

 

  1. Top and tail the aubergines and steam them in a pressure cooker, making sure they remain firm.
  2. Meanwhile, whizz the bacon, onion, garlic, carrots and parsley and cook in a non-stick frying pan without any fat.
  3. Slice the aubergines and place them in an oven-proof dish. Cover with a layer of the bacon mixture and sprinkle the parmesan on top.
  4. Add another layer of aubergine slices and put the emmental slices on top. Put the dish in the oven at 180C for 20 minutes and serve with a green salad and a cool Pinot Grigio.

Bon Appétit!

Tip: I tend to make a larger quantity of the bacon mixture which freezes well and use it for pasta sauces or as filling for provençal vegetables.

Soupe de Poisson or Fish Soup

soupe de poisson no 2

I started this blog a year ago and it’s time that I added one of my favourite soups, usually eaten in Summer, at a table overlooking the Mediterranean, either in Provence or in Corsica.

It will be difficult to source the “poissons de roche” (fish found hiding in rocks on the Mediterranean coast) but a little chat with the fishmonger will help me choose fish which will provide a tasty alternative.

It is not a Bouillabaisse, the speciality of Marseille, but it is very popular.

Croûtons, rubbed with raw garlic and covered with rouille (see recipe further) are served with this soup, also sprinkled with a generous amount of grated Emmental cheese.

Although it is usually served as a starter, I like it so much I eat two small tureens of it and then just have a dessert to follow.

The smell of this soup alone evokes hot Summers and holidays, so it is worth taking the time and making the effort to prepare it.
If you can, make a large quantity as it freezes well.

1kg small rock fish, if possible, or any small fish, gutted but with their heads
1/2 kg ripe fresh tomatoes or 500g tin chopped tomatoes
2 small leeks, whites only, washed and sliced thinly
1 big onion, peeled and sliced
6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
Fennel fronds
1 bay leaf
A handful flat leaf parsley
Saffron
50ml olive oil
Salt, pepper

For the rouille:
50ml olive oil
2 slices white bread, crust removed and made into crumbs
1 small chilli, cut in half and de-seeded
5g saffron
4 garlic cloves, peeled

1. Ask your fishmonger to remove the fish scales and de-gut the fish. Leave the heads on.
Rinse the fish and pat dry with kitchen paper.
Warm the olive oil in a big cooking pot and add the onion and garlic. When they are golden, add the tomatoes, fennel, parsley, bay leaf, saffron, salt and pepper. Lastly, add the fish.

3. Stir for 3 minutes, and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Add 2 litres of boiling water, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the rouille:
In a blender, put the garlic, chilli, saffron, bread, olive oil, salt and whizz.
You should obtain a thick, fragrant sauce, rust coloured, hence the name rouille.

4. When the soup is cooked, use a stick blender and whizz.
Filter through a very fine sieve twice. Pour it back into the big cooking pot and warm it up gently. Do not allow it to boil.

5. Serve immediately in a big tureen or individual ones with croûtons, grated Emmental cheese and whole garlic cloves.

Bon Appétit!