Thursday, January 14, 2010

Show-and-tell - Can a Loony?

Here I am for the 87th Show and Tell at Mel's. Telling but not showing this time.

Yesterday I collected my Marmee from the airport in the afternoon and brought her back to our house for a welcome home dinner. She'd been up north at the beach with the rest of my maternal family, sunning and surfing and relaxing. So I cooked some foods I've never cooked before. Last night's menu included spinach and ricotta cannelloni followed by meringue. T'was yummy.

After I'd dished out and started eating the cannelloni I thought to myself that I wished that I'd taken photos because it was so colourful and gorgeous. But I didn't. And the leftovers don't look quite so wonderful as the piping hot dish all tomato-ey and cheesy did. Here's the recipe.

Napoli sauce

2 tbsps good olive oil
800g canned diced tomatoes
1.5 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tbsp sugar
pinch salt
1 onion chopped

1 heaped tsp crushed garlic

Heat up the oil, saute the onion and garlic 'til translucent, add the tomatoes and the seasonings and cook with the  lid on, stirring every once in a while, for a half an hour while you make the cannelloni.

Spinach and Ricotta filling

375g spinach (if you use frozen, then defrost it and squeeze all the water out)
350g ricotta
3 egg yolks
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 cup grated cheese (tasty, parmesan, mozzarella, use whatever you like or a mixture)
a sprinkle of nutmeg
1 tsp salt (and some pepper if you like it)
cannelloni tubes - 20 small tubes, or 10 fat ones (enough to fill the bottom of a lasagne dish)

Combine the spinach, ricotta, yolks, garlic, 1/3 of the cup of grated cheese and the seasonings in a big bowl. Mix well with your hands. Then poke the mix into the cannelloni tubes 'til they're full.

Puree the sauce with a whizzy stick and pour half into the bottom of the dish (I used a 18x29cm (7x11.5") rectangle lasagne dish). Lay the cannelloni over the sauce then pour the rest of the sauce over the top. Sprinkle with the other 2/3 cup of grated cheese and bake at 200C (392F) for 30-35 minutes. Poke with a skewer to see if cooked.


Then I made meringue to top a lemon curd tart I'd bought. I've not made meringue before which kind of startled me. Here in the land of the Pav I had escaped meringue making??? Astounding.

I had 3 egg whites (because of the 3 egg yolks I'd used in the cannelloni filling, apparently meringue and cannelloni are companion foods) so I beat them within an inch of their lives with the beaters I got for Christmas (me to me). Oh how I love those beaters - they even have dough hooks. Who knew I could appreciate whitegoods so much. 10 year old me would be so impressed! Anyway, after beating them 'til peaky with a pinch of Cream of Tartar (what on earth is that stuff anyway, must investigate) I added about 3/4 cup of caster sugar really really slowly and beat it all together until beautiful fluffy meringue mountains formed easily. The I walloped heaps onto the tart, whacked it into a very hot oven for a few minutes and we all ate delicious curd cake with sweet meringue topping. And again I wished I'd taken pics of it all, but no. Apparently I was too busy living my life to document it.

I had some left in the bowl and decided to bake some meringue blobs. Oven down to 90C, in went the meringues for me to remember to turn the oven off after 1.5 hours and then leave them to cool for 3 or 4 hours in the cooling oven. But ... oh dear ... I forgot about them almost as soon as I had put them into the oven and this morning my step-daughter, the Perfect Child, said "what happened to those meringues you cooked last night?"

Yes, dear reader, the oven was still on and the meringues were still warm. TBG thought they'd be little meringue-y rocks but akshully they were perfect! And yummy. Ta-daaa.

P.S. I copied Mel and made myself a formspring page too - - go on ask me anything!


  1. Mmmmm...wanna come to Michigan and cook for me? Pretty please?

  2. You don't need pictures when you can write that well. You made me hungry with your description.

  3. After you go cook for JB, can you please come to NC and cook for me? It sounds amazing.

  4. I should not have read this on an empty stomach. I am literally salivating.

    And wishing we lived closer to each other so I could just "drop by" at dinner times. :-)

  5. Sounds lovely! Glad you weren't left with a meringue disaster in the morning!

  6. Sounds wonderful!


"Scout yonder's been readin' ever since she was born." I wasn't quite so precocious but I do love reading comments!