Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Leek and Ricotta Cannelloni

This is my final week* of working the late shift at work.  The working pattern hasn't actually been too bad but getting home late, eating and then trying to find a bit of time to unwind before going to bed has proven to be difficult.  My nights have been getting later and R has still been getting up at 6am, so I'm lacking a fair amount of beauty sleep.  I have been spending my mornings catching up on housework, that would normally be done in the evenings, and trying to sort out the finances for Beeston Festival.  Today however, I found myself with some spare time.

Along with not getting to spending much quality time with R, the other thing I have really missed while working late, is cooking.  Not only do I love cooking for people, I also find the process to be really relaxing and the perfect way to wind down, so with some time on my hands I rolled up my sleeves and used as many pans and utensils as was possible.

Making cannelloni is a time consuming yet rewarding exercise.  I am sure that there are short cuts but
I didn't take any today.  I started by making the filling and the tomato sauce.  The tomato sauce is not much more than a seasoned tin of tomatoes with softened onions, garlic and dried basil.  After simmering for five to ten minutes I took a hand blender to the sauce and removed the lumps.

The filling was equally simple.  I softened a shredded leek in olive oil with garlic and a couple of teaspoons of lemon thyme.  Once this was cooked I let it go completely cold before stirring through a tub of riccotta.  I then spooned the mixture into eight cannelloni tubes covered them in the tomato sauce, some mozzarella and parmeasan.  At that stage I stopped and went to work with the dish ready for Z to put in the oven when she got in from work.

When it finally came out of the oven it looked a treat.  I'm glad to say that it tasted as good as it looked.  The only thing I would change next time was adding a bit more salt in the filling, as when cooked the ricotta masked the other flavours.  I had also considered adding pine nuts to the filling mixture, this would have turned tonight's meal from a really good meal into a great one.

*for now.

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