Ricotta and Spinach Cannelloni- February in My Kitchen

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canneloni with spinach and ricotta

It’s February in my Kitchen and I have something to report.

Skater has made some rather good dinners during January. You may remember that I said I was going to encourage my son step up to the stove and cook dinner once a week this year. This isn’t just so that I can put my feet up and take a well earned break, it’s about teaching him that life includes all the tasks that someone else seems to do for you. In other words pull his weight and learn how to live. (I am getting old and I need an assistant!)

Well so far so good.  These Cannelloni were a ricotta and spinach version, and worked very well. I am not going to tell you that there wasn’t hard or frustrating moments during our nights on the dinner shift. It’s a learning curve for me too. I tend to cook by looking in the fridge and the cupboard. This has meant that I have to direct him cooking something that is coming from my head. It’s almost like your mind talking and someone else’s hands moving and at times those hands are very annoying. For example, when we cooked the fresh rice noodles and prawns, he started cutting all the vegetables in to dice. We took a break to discuss why you might cut the vegetables in to julienne strips of all the same size, what that might look like in a finished Asian dish, and how quickly this might encourage them to cook. The conversation was in less words than that and there was a bit of swearing BUT it sounds so much better described as a discussion don’t you think? The thing is, we got there and he was very happy with the results at each cook.

canneloni wuith spinach

We are going to use a recipe in February’s kitchen. This will surely teach further skills and save him from not believing what I say. Can you believe he actually doubts that what I am saying is based on fact in some cases. WHAT?. He questions my cooking decisions? One day we will look back and and and……. maybe laugh.

So below you will see the Rice Noodles with Prawns and a myriad of julienne and diced vegetables. This was done on the barbecue in a wok- cause we’ve got a wok burner.

Jays prawn rice noodles

Here is my apprentice cooking on the barbecue

Skater cooking

Next came the Pork schnitzel with an oven baked pasta with cheese and of course peas. He doesn’t like peas…but I love them.

Cooking the pork snitzel

The schnitzel was hard to cook because it is hard to keep the crumbs on unlike chicken schnitzel, and the menu required him to cook the baked pasta dish too. There was a lot happening and very little time for discussion!

Pork snitzel with baked mac and cheese

This week he made a big batch of Bolognese sauce. This was something I taught him some time ago, so last nights dinner was truly a rest period for me. It was his very best effort yet. Beautifully cooked, nicely reduced, seasoned and full of flavour.

This weekend I am preparing for a bake off. There are a number of cakes on the horizon and if you are scared of sugar and gluten then look the other way.

bake off at MKS

And this, well this is the ultimate rice as the packet says. It was opened by quarantine on the way into the country. So I get to keep it. They open at least 5 bags and take a 100 gm sample from each for testing. These are random tests that are done to most foods coming into the country on a regular basis. This makes me quite happy because now I have a huge stash of the best rice in the world.
Acquerello rice

And that is all we have time for In My Kitchen this February. All that’s left to do is to pass you on the recipe for our cannelloni.

Meanwhile thanks to Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial who began the idea for a world wide kitchen meetup that has turned into something that I look forward to each month. Thank you to everyone that drops by and comments it always makes me feel happy and inspired

5.0 from 5 reviews
Ricotta and Spinach Cannelloni
My Kitchen Stories: 
Oven 200 C / 375 F , a large oven proof pot or try
  • 250 gm (8 oz)ricotta
  • 250 gm (8 oz) frozen defrosted squeezed spinach
  • 2 tablespoons cream or milk
  • 180 gm ( oz) cheese grated (cheddar or parmesan or a mixture of both)
  • 1 packet dried cannelloni (they vary from 16-30 this recipe should cover)
  • 1 large zip lock bag
  • 1 x 720 ml (24.4 oz) jar of tomato passata ( plain tomato puree)
  • 1 x 720 ml ( 24.4oz) water
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 grated carrot
  • ½ cup ( approx) diced red capsicum
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup of Japanese breadcrumbs or fresh rough ones
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large ovenproof pot or tray that goes on the top of the stove and then to the oven
  1. Put the pot onto the stove and warm. add the olive oil, onion, garlic, carrot and pepper and sweat till softened. Add the tomato sauce and the equal amount of water and leave to simmer.
  2. Next, I like to use the food processor to get this smooth- and because it is quick. Put the squeezed spinach, ricotta, all but a large handful of the cheese and cream with a pinch of salt and a grind of pepper into the food processor and puree.
  3. Spoon this mixture into the zip lock bag (or a piping bag). and cut a little whole in 1 corner.Use this to fill each cannelloni by filling 1 end and then turning around to fill the other. Don't fill them too full as it will squeeze out everywhere when it cooks.
  4. Once all the tubes are full, taste the tomato sauce for salt and pepper and add if needed. Then lay the cannelloni's into the pot in a single layer and only overlap if necessary. The sauce should cover the cannelloni's. Sprinkle with the left over cheese and the breadcrumbs. Cover with a lid or foil and bake for 20 minutes before removing the lid and baking a further 10 minutes.
  5. Test that the pasta is cooked by breaking one of the tubes, before taking out of the oven.


New Signiture


  • This looks like such a delicious pasta comfort food! 🙂 Perfect winter meal!
    Medha @ Whisk & Shout recently posted..Protein-Packed Spinach SaladMy Profile

  • Hotly Spiced says:

    That’s so good that you’re teaching Skater to cook. I can understand it would be very frustrating and must test your patience but it’s so good for Skater to learn and he is learning from one of the best. My daughter told me she would cook for me on Friday night. At 5pm I got a call saying she’d just met up with a friend and wouldn’t be home until late so could she cook Saturday night instead. Saturday night she went out so I’m not giving up my ‘day job’ any time soon xx
    Hotly Spiced recently posted..Mediterranean SaladMy Profile

  • Oh, I love that you are spending time with your son and teaching him to cook! That is truly wonderful and is something that many mothers don’t have time to do these days. Love the sound of your cannelloni, I haven’t made that in years! Have fun with the bake off!
    Lizzy (Good Things) recently posted..In my kitchen – February 2015My Profile

  • 3outa4 says:

    Congratulations to Skater for these fine efforts – keep it up, you are so lucky you have a Mum to teach you and it’s a skill that is invaluable!

  • Pamela Hayward says:

    Congratulations to you and Skater. Well done! When my youngest son was home recently from months at sea on a prawn trawler (he cooked us prawns for Christmas) he asked me to teach him three things that were his favourites as a child – tacos, soy and honey chicken drumsticks, and what we called ‘crummy chicken’! Don’t forget to tell your son that girls LOVE guys who can cook.
    Looking forward to your new cakes,

  • Diane says:

    Sounds & looks delicious!! Skater might be called upon for a special order soon!! Well done!!

  • I wish I had someone to teach how to cook AND clean up. Skater is going to be a great cook if these dishes are any indication. Can’t wait to see those cakes!
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef recently posted..Mini Lamb Rump RoastMy Profile

  • Kirsty says:

    It might seem annoying to some, but I really appreciate our quarantine department for doing random checks. Keeps our produce safe and stops any nasty bugs (or worse!) from coming into the country. Great that you got to keep your rice! Thanks for the peek into your kitchen this month Tania, Kirsty xx
    Kirsty recently posted..In My Kitchen – February 2015My Profile

  • Glenda says:

    How wonderful to have an apprentice. You are very lucky indeed.

  • Maree says:

    Good for you passing on skills. All 3 of mine had to be responsible for planning/shopping and cooking a meal once a week and they grumbled back then but now thank me and say how lucky they are that I was a grinch! Looks like skater is doing a grand job of it too. Look forward to seeing what you bake for the bake off! Cheers.

  • Lorelle says:

    It’s hard for any kid to branch out into something that their parent is an expert in. They know that they will never get it right absolutely, and so are set up for failure. For me – I’d take him to a cook book shop and see what took his fancy so that he can follow someone else’s recipes for a while, and then when he wants to know more – he will come to ‘the source’.
    Just my thoughts on the subject.

    • My Kitchen Stories says:

      Thanks Lorelle. I have bought him books and also asked him if he would like to find a book to look at that would interest him but he tells me he doesn’t have time to read them. He has asked me to find him a recipe to cook this week. You are of course correct it is very hard to learn from a parent but I think his problem is the computer. If I can keep him away from it long enough I just might be able to teach him a lot more.

  • Looks like that you had lots of fun with your apprentice!
    I look forward to your cake creations!
    Angie@Angie’s Recipes recently posted..Beetroot Chocolate Einkorn CakeMy Profile

  • Ania says:

    I’m with you on the teaching to cook – my teenage children made beef chilli last month and after the initial bickering, they realised the end result was a delicious dinner which hopefully they will be able to recreate for themselves in the future. As for the schnitzel, we traditionally make it only with pork in Poland and the meat is coated in seasoned flour, then beaten egg and finally breadcrumbs before fried. We had it last night for dinner but I had used turkey breast steaks instead – delicious!

  • Gretchen says:

    I can only imagine the “discussions” teaching Skater to cook. I am hoping to avoid some of those disagreements and stress induces meals by getting my boys involved in everything on the kitchen since they were old enough to stand on a chair. Wait, I had them on a bouncer on the counter when they were babies, maybe they learned then! The cannelloni looks delicious. Have fun with your bake off.
    Gretchen recently posted..Banana Cream Pie CocktailMy Profile

    • My Kitchen Stories says:

      Well Skater just about grew up in a professional kitchen and was a;ways encouraged to cook buthe just never was interested. Now there is no choice.

  • I’m not allowed in the kitchen at all when my son is cooking. He (not very) occasionally sticks his head out to ask something, but seems to generally find my advice ill-informed! I think he should forget about study and go out and get a job right now, while he knows everything. 😉
    Amanda (@lambsearshoney) recently posted..Travel Apps – Some of my FavouritesMy Profile

  • I think it’s wonderful Skater is getting to learn all these wonderful meals before he leaves home – my husband defines putting bread in the toaster as cooking. And a good spag bol can take you far in life – lasagna, pasta bakes, stuffed veg, on toast…..Cannelloni is something I order in a restaurant because I can’t be bothered to make it at home though I have to admit 🙂
    Nancy | Plus Ate Six recently posted..{In My Kitchen} February 2015My Profile

  • I have two young sons and they are very keen cooks. I think it’s a really important skill for kids to learn. Your Sous Chef did a great job.
    Jennifer from Milk and Honey recently posted..In My Kitchen – February 2015My Profile

  • Thanks for the Ricotta and Spinach Cannelloni recipe. It looks delightful. I hope it’s not to much to ask but do you have the recipe for the rice noodles and prawns somewhere here in your blog. I’d love to see how they’re made.
    Claire | Kitchen Options recently posted..Recipe Roundup: Great Finds From Food BlogsMy Profile

  • Joanne says:

    Your son did a great job with these!! And good for you for teaching him how to cook…it’s definitely a life skill worth having. 🙂
    Joanne recently posted..Rice Noodle Salad with Grapefruit and PeanutsMy Profile

  • Anne says:

    Always good to have an apprentice. My children deliberately cut vegetables differently to me and constantly challenged why I did things a particular way but now it’s lovely to go round to eat a their homes. Even if they do still chop the veg wrong.
    Anne recently posted..in my kitchen – February 2015My Profile

    • My Kitchen Stories says:

      Oh Skater practically grew up in a restaurant kitchen and even had chefs all round him to teach him but he just wasn’t interested. Shame really, but he is picking it up easily. He has been my waiter and kitchen hand on many a job so it really is just a matter of time!

  • My mum makes these cannellonis all the time, these look just as delicious!
    My brother is also forcing himself to cook when he is home, he had to use these new skills when he moved away for an internship for a while! So useful 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru
    Choc Chip Uru recently posted..Eating Day @ Bondi BeachMy Profile

  • Oh WOW Tania. This looks incredible! Where is the bake off?? I hope you will be sharing, I want to see what you create!! 🙂
    Nagi@RecipeTinEats recently posted..Satay Chicken with Restaurant Style Peanut Sauce (Indonesian/Bali)My Profile

  • Ardys says:

    Coincidentally, when our daughter lived at home, one of the things she made when she started to cook main meals was spinach and ricotta cannelloni!! It isn’t usually appreciated at the time, but such a valuable skill to teach our children to nourish themselves! Lucky you that the rice got through! Thanks for sharing.
    Ardys recently posted..in my kitchen – Feb 2015My Profile

  • Moya says:

    Skater looks like he is doing a fantastic job at the cooking and I would be very happy to try the results. Your food looks really delicious and it is wonderful that you are passing on a skill that every young person should learn. 🙂
    Moya recently posted..In My Kitchen February 2015My Profile

  • Krista says:

    The recipes you’re teaching sound delicious and manageable. 🙂
    Krista recently posted..Campfires and BooksMy Profile

  • Oh the perils of parenthood, especially when you care about raising a well rounded child!! Bravo!! My daughter is 7 and questions my knowledge all the time, god help me when we start really cooking together…swearing jar will be full!!! 😀
    Jan x

  • Well done you on teaching your step son these life skills. When your done, can you come over and teach Mr Tiffin? The spirit is willing but… we always end up in an argument! I love that photo of all the sugar, flour and eggs. That’s what a real kitchen is all about! Tasty tour… Fiona xx

  • It always great to encourage people to cook. I can’t believe that skater would doubt you at all, how rude 🙂 Anyway it looks like you are doing a good job of teaching him… soon he will take over your blog 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Liz x
    Elizabeth Connolly recently posted..In My Kitchen – Feb 2015My Profile

  • celia says:

    How fabulous is that boy of yours! Everything he’s cooked or helped to cook this month looks delicious! I’ve learnt to stand out of your way when you’re in the midst of a baking frenzy.. 🙂
    celia recently posted..Budgeting with Big BoyMy Profile

  • i love the look of the ultimate rice. how fabulous is that! great idea to teach the youngster to cook. everybody should learn!
    sherry from sherrys pickings recently posted..My Sunday Photo 8 February 2015My Profile

  • Jhuls says:

    This sounds like a total comforting meal. It’s so nice to have an apprentice in the kitchen. 😀
    Jhuls recently posted..CornbreadMy Profile

  • Jhuls says:

    Hi, it’s me again. I don’t know how I got Celia’s website into the ‘website box’ and says ‘Jhuls recently posted Cornbread…’ I’ve gotten to your site from Celia’s. 🙂 Nice to meet you, btw.

  • SeattleDee says:

    I’d love to hear the cooking lesson story from teacher AND student Will Skater share a comment or two some day?
    SeattleDee recently posted..Fast-Rise Bread with Sourdough, Cherries & NutsMy Profile

  • Oh my goodness, I LOVE your “bake off” photo! (And apprentice in the kitchen stories…) Delightful on all accounts. Thank you, Tania!

  • sylvie says:

    I wish I was your friend so that you share this cannelloni dish with me!

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