Comforting mushroom-spinach cannelloni

One thing I did accomplish this summer is a pantry-purge. It wasn’t pretty, I had to throw out a lot of things. But it inspired me as well, as I found an old pot of dried mushrooms and half a package of cannelloni tubes. Normally I make spinach-ricotta cannelloni with tomato sauce, but the mushrooms just asked for a silky white sauce. This would be a perfect autumn dish.



For this recipe you’ll need cannelloni tubes (three per person should do), ricotta cheese, spinach (I used fresh, but I can tell you that frozen spinach works just as well), a shallot, dried mushrooms (If you have some fresh ones laying around, they could do too, but you’ll need some dried to use the rehydration liquid for the sauce), flour, butter and milk.


  • Rehydrate the mushrooms in some very hot water. How many is your choice, it’s the liquid that we’ll need to make a special white sauce, but I used some mushrooms in the filling too. Preheat the oven to 200°C (that’s my standard, I hardly use any other temperature, so if you know your oven, maybe you should play around). Butter a oven proof dish slightly.


  • Make the filling: welt the spinach and when it’s done, try to squeeze out as many of the moisture as you can. When using frozen spinach: defrost (maybe you can do that ahead and let it sit overnight in a sieve over a bowl) and squeeze out the moisture. Cooking isn’t needed, it will be in the oven later, time enough to cook!


  • Chop the shallot very finely and cook until translucent. When using a few fresh mushrooms, you can chop them very finely too and cook with the shallot. For the dried ones, no cooking required, but you’ll need to chop finely and squeeze out all the liquid. Don’t throw it away, but set aside. That brownish water with the distinctive mushroom fragrance is going to add some extra to your sauce.


  • Combine spinach, mushroom, shallot with just enough ricotta cheese to bring it all together and then just a little more. Season to taste.


  • Fill the tubes with the mixture. For me, a simple plastic bag works best. Put the filling in it, cut a tiny little bit of the corner and tadaaa, great filling tool!


  • Prepare the white sauce. First, make a roux of equal quantities of butter and flour. Cook it long enough to smell something nutty, then add a few spoons of the mushroom water to it (I suggest you start with two and then go on with the milk – it can get quite overwhelming taste wise). Continue with milk, constantly whisking until you have a lovely beige sauce. It can’t be runny, but make sure it’s not too thick either, because your cannelloni will have to cook in it. Taste! Season and add more mushroom water if you like.


  • Spoon a layer of sauce into your dish, arrange the cannelloni on top of it, and cover with the rest of the sauce. Put in the oven for at least 30 minutes, maybe 45, until your cannelloni are cooked. To me, it’s a very filling meal, but I would understand the need for something fresh to accompany it. I would go for a simple salad with a light, fresh dressing. Enjoy!




Pasta para P

Sometimes a rush and some basic ingredients create the most wonderful dishes. And one of them became the absolute favorite of my husband, hence the name. The secret ingredient? Lots of fresh dill, I’ve already tried it without and it honestly makes all the difference…


  • Cook pasta. I like to use rigatoni for this dish, but penne or any short, ribbed pasta would do.


  • In the meantime, cut up some spring onions, slice a bunch of ‘candy tomatoes‘ (it’s a kind of very sweet cherry tomato, but longer, like a teeny tiny version of roma tomatoes – it has to be really sweet) and toss them in a pan, pot, wok, whatever. Let them simmer and get warm.


  • Add mascarpone, one big spoon will do for now. Season, but be careful with the salt…


  • cause you’ll add your cooked pasta, along with little slices of smoked salmon. Keep some of the salmon apart to sprinkle over it once done. Now it’s the art to make it come together, the pasta just coated, the salmon just a different color, and heaps of chopped dill. Make sure everything is warm, but don’t overdo it.


  • Serve in bowls or big plates, sprinkle with the rest of the salmon and a bit of leftover dill.
  • Enjoy. Take seconds. Thirds. Fight over the last spoon.





When you frowned at that title, you’re right. I just made up a word. But this one has been on the menu a lot lately, so I thought I should share the recipe. If it’s even a recipe.

I’ve never really liked pizza. There. I said it.

It has to do with the crust. For a while I liked the traditional crust of PizzaHut pizzas but then my boyfriend at the time started to work there and they caused a dramatic drop in occasions to see each other. Plus, the stories ‘behind the scenes’ made me not wanting to eat pizza for a very. long. time. Yikes.

Later, when I decided that I should know how to cook and dived right in with my favorite, cheese croquettes (which is a complicated recipe and because of that not my best idea ever), gained some experience, I tried to make pizza dough. Hey, I managed to make decent bread, pizza could not be so hard, could it?

Euh… yes it could. I fought with the dough, I turned it and twisted it and made it awful. I gave up and used pre made dough instead but it didn’t help with my pizza-hate-affair. And then supermarket was closed, I hadn’t a thing left to eat, I thought, and my husband could come home hungry any minute now.

Enter mini-pizzas on a pita. The bare fact of using pita as bottom solved the problem of not making good dough AND baking time. My husband loves them and it’s the best way ever to use leftover veggies. It’s so simple it is ridiculous.





Take little pita breads. Don’t bake them, don’t cut them, just leave them like that. Put tomato sauce on them. I use a mix of concentrated tomato puree and tubed tomato sauce. (If you’re lazy, you can as well be super lazy.) Put anything you like on it. Mozzarella cheese, bell pepper cubes, anchovies, shredded chicken, snack tomatoes, spring onions, … Sprinkle with your favorite dried herbs, season and put in the preheated oven. They will take ten minutes, twelve maybe.

They’ll be gone in less.


 Sharing with
Raia @ Savoring Saturdays

Zucchini sauce with apple

Maybe I should start with a warning. (Or shouldn’t I – does a warning scare you off?)
A lot of the blogs I follow and discover and love are all about whole foods and healthy eating. This is NOT a whole food recipe. While I do believe in cooking from scratch, some processed foods are very convenient to have on hand. I guess this recipe would work with any kind of pasta that takes well a thick sauce, but I like the extra touch of the filling and I don’t want to make tortellini myself.
I also love anything that’s cream-related. Not very healthy, I know, but I love the luxurious feeling of a rich, creamy sauce. It’s not even my guilty pleasure, as I don’t feel guilty about it.

There, I said it. If you’re still with me, behold, for here is my beloved zucchini-with-apple-sauce recipe.

zucchini apple sauce pinterest

  • Slice the zucchini (I used two of them for the two of us, but we had some leftovers, that were well-cared for the next day) and cut the slices into small cubes. No need to peel – the skin adds much needed color to the dish.


  • Cook them until they are translucent. I do it in a wok, but any pot will do. A little nob of butter (or oil) is all you need to make it work. Add dried herbs now if you use them. I did: those lovely herbes de Provence are just perfect for zucchini. If you want to use fresh herbs, throw them in at the very end, when your sauce is almost finished.

zucchini cubes

  • Dice the apple (I think I went with only one, but you could use more if you feel like it). I do peel my apples because I don’t like the skin, especially when cooked. Yeah, I’m picky like that. My favorite apple right now is the French Golden. They’re lovely sweet and juicy. Microwave the cubes for a minute or two, until they’re just tender but still keep their shape.


  • Put most of the zucchini in the blender (let’s say three quarters), add two big spoons of mascarpone and enough cream (or stock if you’re going into cardiac arrest by reading cream and mascarpone in the same line) to make blending go smooth. I like to blend just a little, so my sauce still has a good texture and a bit of bite to it. Season to taste.

zucchini apple sauce

  • Add the sauce to the rest of the zucchini left in the pan. Put in the apples and the pasta and adapt the thickness of your sauce until you like it. Season again, add the pasta. Enjoy.

zucchini apple pasta