A treat for every season – Cannelloni With ZucchinI, Ricotta and Tomato Sauce


I see a totally beautiful day outside my kitchen door so I will try to make this post short so that I can go out and sit in the sun instead. I want to sit there listening to the birds, feel the breeze and look at my daffodils slowly moving but I suspect that that will not be my only sensorial fare, usually I also hear cars hooting on their way up here along our narrow road where you better honk your horn before the bends of the road to avoid having to break dramatically. I will most probably hear one of those infernal grass cutters that everyone seems to unable to resist slinging onto their backs and then go over their fields over and over again, make that irritating sound that seems to be ever present in the country in the spring. You think it is calm and quiet here?
Yes it is but you would be surprised to hear how much noise pollution we have around here. So I better get on with this, maybe I manage to catch that short moment when lunch is served and they have to put down whatever they do to eat!

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I like this dish, it is very easy to make if you buy the fresh pasta sheets, it’s nicer if you make the pasta yourself but we don’t always have the time or energy to do that, do we? Few but clean and fresh flavours, just like I want it and if you are lucky, you have the ingredients in your fridge, I had when I decided to make this for you this morning. I know, I should have been better prepared and have invented something yesterday but I wanted to rest so I just did stuff for my family instead so this morning I stood there with the fridge door open, staring in and trying to make my brain work in recipe mood. This is the result, I hope you like it.

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2 big or 4 small servings

12 (10×15 cm/ 4×6 in) rectangles of fresh pasta
1 kg/ 2,2 lb zucchini
250 g/ 0,5 lb fresh ricotta
1 clove of garlic
250-300 ml tomato sauce or some canned tomatoes you have run in a blender
1-2 tsp freshly chopped herbs
3-4 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
extra-virgin olive oil

   Trim the zucchini and slice, cut or chop into small pieces. Cook gently in a skillet with some salt, olive oil and a crushed garlic clove until softened and a bit golden. Take away the garlic and drain of most of the olive oil.

   Cook the pasta rectangles for a few minutes in some gently boiling water to which you have added a little oil, it will help to keep them apart and not glue to each other. Take them out of the water and let them drain on a kitchen towel.

   Take out an oven-proof form, grease it and cover the bottom with a thin veil of tomato sauce that you have added a little oil,salt and herbs to, about 1/3 of the total.

   Mix the zucchini with the fresh ricotta and place a spoonful on each pasta sheet, roll up the rectangles and place them close to each other in the form. Spoon the rest of the tomato sauce over the cannelloni and sprinkle the grated parmesan cheese over it all.

   Bake in a pre-heated oven (200°C/390°F) for around 20 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

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