Lorraine Fitzmaurice gives her twist on this Italian classic.


  • 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


  • For the Pancakes:
  • 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.
  • Slowly pour the milk and water mixture into the flour mix continually whisking until a smooth batter has been reached.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Store on a plate with pieces of greaseproof paper between each pancake and cover with cling film and refrigerate.
  • For the Spinach Filling:
  • Wash the spinach well and shake any water from the leaves and place in a heated pot with a little extra virgin olive oil.
  • Cook until wilted and drain in a colander to remove any excess liquid. Place the ricotta, Cashel blue, parmesan cheese into a bowl.
  • Squeeze the spinach to remove any more liquid and roughly chop.
  • Add to the cheeses along with a grating of fresh nutmeg. Season with a little salt.
  • For the Sauce:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • To Assemble the Dish:
  • Stir 2 tablespoons of the sauce into the spinach and cheese mixture.
  • Butter an oven proof dish (approx; 9in x 11 in).
  • 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.
  • Repeat until all the pancakes and filling have been used.
  • 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.
  • Potential problems and Solutions:
  • P: The cannelloni sauce could become lumpy -Blending it would solve that.
  • P: The pancakes could dry out if not covered properly if making the day before - A light spraying with water would solve this.
  • P: The pancakes could stick to the oven dish - Butter the oven dish

More by Lorraine Fitzmaurice:

Find recipes by keyword:

autumn family dinners italian pancake tuesday mains light meals and snacks the afternoon show