Spinach & Ricotta Cannelloni with a Difference (NF + V)

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When I was about 12 years old my Mum owned this pair of shorts. They were a sort of grey-green in that suede look quickdry material that was huge some decade and a half ago. They were elasticated waist. A few centimetres above the knee. Really comfy - for her.

Me? Little ol' me with no freckles, straight red hair, who mainly walked around in jeans and old surfbrand t-shirts and singlets (thanks to my Dad's surf life saving career, and the fact that Mum and Dad started a successful surf clothin store in Perth back in the late 80's which, on the sale of the store - still open today - gave my brother and I seemingly unlimited clothes. So long as they were Rusty, Quicksilver, Billabong or Roxy. Anyway, you get the idea). I hated them. Infact, should we have been on our way out to the shops, or, anywhere really, there was a confrontation at the back door. "Mum! You can't seriously wear those out?"  "Oh, Jasmine, yes, I can" "No, really Mum, you can't!" Needless to say, she never wore those shorts out with me.

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Today, I did something I swore I'd never do. When it came round to 5pm. I grab my sneakers out of my bag, a pair of socks (gawd...did they have to be white?!?) . Took off my black pumps and put my white socks and shiny white sneakers (yes, well used, I just don't walk in mud) on with my thick black stockings and grey business skirt.

I swore, many years ago that I wouldn't do this. I mean really. It just looks, well, silly! ig chunky white sneakers + black ankle slimming stockings add generally a pencil skirt of various colours =  weird!  Yet, here I was succumbing. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the chunky white sneaker and black stocking wearing brigade that walk the streets before and after work. I. Just. Well, I didn't want to become one!!

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I can gaurantee you, that my Mum will read this post and remember those shorts and she'll most likely be cracking up at my silly ideas of what do and don't go together. What's suitable with pencil skirts and what's not.

It's silly that we judge other people by what they wear . But hey, that's life and my opinions are kept to the clothes and don't continue onto the person wearing the badly fitting dress with the uggboots (at 11.30am) or the fact that even though I've triple checked, I keep thinking that cannelloni has been misspelt throughout the rest of this post, when it's not!

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Gluten Free Spinach & Ricotta Crepe Cannelloni with Roasted Capsicum Sauce

This gluten free spinach & ricotta crepe cannelloni with roasted capsicum & tomato sauce takes a while to make, but is well worth the effort. Plus, you get to eat those few extra gluten free crepes with a little bit of butter and golden syrup!

If you don't have time to make this all on one day, I'd suggect making the crepes and sauce the day before. Simply remove the crepes from the fridge a few hours before putting the dish together.

Roasted Capsicum & Tomato Sauce

2 red capsicums

1/2 brown onion, finely chopped

1 or 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3tblspn tomato paste

400g tin shopped tomatoes

small bunch parsley washed and finely chopped

pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 200Deg Celcius. Place washed capsicums on an ungreased baking tray and bake for approximately 30-50minutes. Turn the caspicums every 10minutes until nicely charred and slightly soft. Remove from oven, cover with alfoil (this will help the skin peel off) and allow to cool.

This is where I made my spinach & ricotta filling.

Once the caspicums are cool enough to handle, gently peel away the skin and remove the seeds. Reserve the juices and roughly chop the roasted capsicums.

In a large saucepan heat a tablespoon of olive oil and brown the onion. Add the garlic and stir. Add the remaining ingredients, including the juices from the roasted capsicum. Simmer for approximately 20-30minutes until delciously fragrant.

At this point I made the gluten free crepes.

Spinach & Ricotta Filling

500g frozen spinach, defrosted

750g ricotta

Pepper, salt and nutmegto taste

Squeeze excess liquid from the defrosted spinach and place in a medium bowl with the ricotta. Stir to combine and add a few pinches each of pepper, salt & nutmeg.

Gluten Free Crepes

Makes 10-15

275g gluten free flour

3eggs, whisked

650 to 750mls milk

In a large bowl, make a well in the middle of the flour and slowly whisk in the eggs and 400mls of milk. Whisk to form a smooth batter, adding another 250ml milk until the batter is of a relatively thin batter. You may need a little more of less milk.

Heat a large non-stick frypan, add a small knob of butter to grease the pan. Reduce heat to medium low. Pour a few spoonfuls of batter into the frypan and, if necessary, swirl to make a thinround crepe approximately 18cm diameter (the width of my baking dish). When small bubbles appear on the top of the crepe, flip over and when cooked remove to a large plate.

Continue with the remaining batter. Set aside.

Put the Gluten Free Crepe Cannelloni together

Preheat oven to 170Deg Celcius. Grease a 20cm x 35cm baking dish. 

Place a couple of spoonfuls of the spinach & ricotta mixture along the first third of a crepe and roll up. Place into your baking tray. Continue with the remaining spinach & ricotta mixture and crepes until your baking dish is full.

Pour the roasted capsicum & tomato sauce over the top.

Grate 1 1/2 cups tasty cheese and 1/2cup parmesan. Mix together and sprinkle on top. Bake for approximately 45mins until warmed through, bubbly and the cheese is nicely melted.

Serve hot with a green leafy salad (maybe dont worry about spinach though, I'm sure this has enough in it!)