Dare to be green (Daring Cooks June '12 Challenge: Cannelloni)

Between the abundance of rain and the start up of CSA share pick ups, I feel like my world is awash in a sea of green.

Which is fine, because green is my favorite color.

What's not to love about such a happy color? It's so lively. Unless it's mold. Then maybe not so much.

When it came time to make cannelloni from scratch for this month's Daring Cooks challenge, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Right on the cover of Making Artisan Pasta (Aliza Green) is a picture of a spinach/ chicken cannelloni that uses spinach pasta.

I have been having so much fun with this book. Ms. Green goes beyond the traditional egg pasta and covers many pastas from all over the world. There is a pasta in there that uses chestnut flour that I am totally itching to try out. And a sweet potato caramelle. And a sour cherry vareniki. And a chocolate pasta dough (I am itching to throw some cayenne into that one).

Oh my.

Did you know there are people who don't like spinach?

This makes me sad.

Spinach is green and happy. And how can anyone resist baby spinach? It's so darned cute.

And egg yolks... They are happy too. Bright and sunny and yellow. (At least until they are hard boiled, then not so much).

All that spinachy-eggy goodness is blended in with a mixture of A/P, durum and semolina. I even used the "well" method and kneaded my pasta by hand.

Kind of like green PlayDough - only better...

When it came time to roll the dough out, I did pull out the KA pasta attachment.

I can't hand roll anything evenly to save my life. Straight lines and I don't co-exist. Just sayin'

Some where along the way, the squares were stuffed with a chicken-spinach mixture and were baked in a hearty chicken stock/ bechamel sauce blend. Of course, copious amount of finely grated Parmesan-Reggiano and Pecorino Romano found their way in...

And it was declared good. Because is there anything better than homemade pasta?

For real...

Manu from Manu’s Menu was our Daring Cooks lovely June hostess and has challenged us to make traditional Italian cannelloni from scratch! We were taught how to make the pasta, filling, and sauces shared with us from her own and her family’s treasured recipes!

Thanks to Manu for throwing us into the middle of this challenge!
This post participates in The Daring Cooks.


  1. Cher...yea, nothing beats homemade cannelloni. You did a great job on it and it looks delicious ! Well done !

  2. Looking at your photos makes me want to try making pasta by hand too! That is a yet unconquered cooking frontier for me. Thanks for the recommendation on such a lovely book. The chestnut flour dough is very intriguing.

  3. It's a good, good day when making pasta by hand. It just feels so right (and tastes so darn good). (And btw, chocolate and cayenne is a very Cincinnati thing - great combo! Even Jeni's ice cream has a Queen City flavor. :) )

    1. Skyline 5 Way anyone?

  4. Yum! I now have the urge to get the hand crank pasta roller out--this is my favorite pasta ever--cannelloni!

  5. So awesome! I have the KA pasta shape maker (elbows, spaghetti, fusilli...) but not for making sheets. Your pasta looks lovely! Now I want to make some :)

  6. Sour cherry vareniki, you mentioned, rocks! I'm from Ukraine and ate it a lot in a childhood.. Your green dough looks awesome, I guess it would be good even without filling. I'll do my green pasta next - thanks for inspiration!

  7. Looks delicious! That green color really looks great.

  8. Homemade green cannelloni - sounds and looks like a wonderful meal!

    Cher, I gave you the "One Lovely Blog Award" - please stop by when you have a chance to get the information...

  9. Your super-spinach version looks SO delicious. Hooray for all of the green!

  10. Wonderful job!!! I have made spinach pasta once before and loved it. Great idea to use it for the cannelloni!! That looks like an awesome pasta book, too! I will have to check it out!! Your cannelloni looks delicious!!

  11. What fantastic green cannelloni - three cheers for spinach! Yum!

  12. I am with you! Spinach is just too yummy. Your cannelloni look fabulous, great job!

  13. I made spinach pasta once - used spinach from a Gerber's babyfood jar. It was delicious. Now, you've got me in the mood. Sweet potato caramelle. Sour cherry vareniki. And, honest to God chocolate pasta dough? Your cookbook sounds interesting. I am glad your family enjoyed this meal - it sounded delicious to me.

  14. Green pasta, this I must try and a chocolate pasta dough, seriously!
    Thank you for the inspiration
    You did a great job with this challenge

  15. I've never made my own pasta! It's on my list of things to do...soon!
    You've inspired me!


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