Pancake Cannelloni with Spinach and Four Cheeses

Lorraine Fitzmaurice gives her twist on this Italian classic.

Ingredients


  • for the pancakes:
  • 110 g fine whole meal or plain flour
  • sea salt
  • 2 free range eggs, beaten
  • 7 floz milk mixed with 3 fl oz water
  • 50 g melted butter
  • for the sauce:
  • 570 ml milk
  • 50 g butter
  • 1 tblsp plain flour
  • 1 bay leaf
  • fresh nutmeg
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • for the filling:
  • 450 g spinach
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 150 g ricotta cheese
  • 150 g cashel blue
  • 50 g parmesan cheese
  • 1 bunch of chives (finely chopped)
  • 110 g mozzarella cheese
  • 50 g parmesan cheese

Method

  1. For the Pancakes:
  2. Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a large roomy bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the beaten eggs. Whisk.
  3. Slowly pour the milk and water mixture into the flour mix continually whisking until a smooth batter has been reached.
  4. Stir in 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Pour the rest into a bowl to use when cooking the pancakes. Heat a pan over a medium heat and begin to make the pancakes.
  5. Using a piece of kitchen paper, dip it in the reserved melted butter, and rub over the heated pan. Pour 2 tablespoons of the batter into the pan, swirl to cover the base.
  6. When the bottom is golden, flip over to brown the other side. Slide onto a plate and repeat until all the batter has been used. There should be 12-14 pancakes. These can be made a day in advance.
  7. Store on a plate with pieces of greaseproof paper between each pancake and cover with cling film and refrigerate.
  8. For the Spinach Filling:
  9. Wash the spinach well and shake any water from the leaves and place in a heated pot with a little extra virgin olive oil.
  10. Cook until wilted and drain in a colander to remove any excess liquid. Place the ricotta, Cashel blue, parmesan cheese into a bowl.
  11. Squeeze the spinach to remove any more liquid and roughly chop.
  12. Add to the cheeses along with a grating of fresh nutmeg. Season with a little salt.
  13. For the Sauce:
  14. Melt the butter in a pot and add the flour and cook for a few minutes to brown a little. Remove form the heat and whisk in the milk until combined, taking care to avoid any lumps.
  15. Return to the heat and add the bay leaf and a pinch of salt, whisking continually until the sauce thickens. Season with salt, pepper, and a grating of nutmeg.
  16. To Assemble the Dish:
  17. Stir 2 tablespoons of the sauce into the spinach and cheese mixture.
  18. Butter an oven proof dish (approx; 9in x 11 in).
  19. Lay a pancake onto a flat surface and place a tablespoon of filling down the centre. Roll up the pancake and place in the dish, seam side down.
  20. Repeat until all the pancakes and filling have been used.
  21. Pour over the sauce and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C (Gas 6) for 30 minutes until golden and bubbling.
  22. Potential problems and Solutions:
  23. P: The cannelloni sauce could become lumpy -Blending it would solve that.
  24. P: The pancakes could dry out if not covered properly if making the day before - A light spraying with water would solve this.
  25. P: The pancakes could stick to the oven dish - Butter the oven dish




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