Day Seven – Italian

I went with the quite old but still really great Pasta for All Seasons for our Italian meal.  I had bought a box of cannelloni a few weeks back as I’d not had it in ages so I looked for a recipe that used it and came across Sausage and Fennel Cannelloni, although I substituted 2 peppers for the fennel as it’s not a vegetable that I tend to use.

The tubes are stuffed with sausage (I used defrosted Linda Mac ones without cooking them first as the dish is in the oven for quite a long time) mixed with tomatoes, herbs, breadcrumbs and mozzarella.  For the cheese I used one from Artisan Vegan Cheeses which I’ll do a review of soon as I’ve made a few things from it now.  The sauce is the tomato sauce from the same book which has a lovely flavour, I even added the wine to it this time which I normally don’t bother with.

I always forget how time consuming it is to stuff the tubes, I couldn’t imagine stuffing them after they’ve been cooked which is what the recipe tells you to do, they’d just be all floppy and it’d be highly irritating!  As mine didn’t require pre-cooking I used the Veganomicon trick of adding a cup of water to the dish just before cooking, it doesn’t dilute the sauce at all and gives the pasta the moisture it needs to cook through.

We all loved this, Jim had two huge servings and argued with me over the leftovers for lunch the next day so it will be made again, although I’ll make sure I start cooking much earlier so dinner doesn’t end up being 45 minutes late like it was that night!

All in all International Food Week went down really well and we all enjoyed it and loved trying new food.  I think we’ll give it another go sometime and try to find a few different countries to try.  It was great to get out books I’d either not used or only use rarely and to try new things and it was a lot of fun picking out the dishes and getting all the ingredients with the boys and great to see them trying new flavours and dishes.  The clear winner was this pasta dish closely followed by the empanadas and the ‘duck’ pancakes, all of those will be going into rotation!


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