canelloni with mushrooms

Rice & pasta | Traditional Spanish Recipes

Mushrooms and Spinach Cannelloni with a Boletus Bechamel

Please be alert woods and forests’ inhabitants: gnomes, smurfs, elves, fairies… I’m a mushroom predator! Move from your houses and search for a comfortable corner somewhere else… It’s time for mushrooms hunting!!!

Not that I will be up at 5:00 o’clock on a Saturday morning and will put my boots on, scarf, gloves and basket, I’m not that kind anymore… but… all dishes containing mushrooms are eligible for this blog :D. Instead, you will see me hunting in Barcelona’s Markets :D

When someone mentions pasta, immediately after one thinks of Italy! But, I’m sure that pasta is an adopted national dish everywhere in the world. One of my favourites are cannelloni and since I was a kid, this was the dish for celebrations… Christmas, Anniversaries, Family meetings… I still have the picture of my grandmother preparing the Christmas cannelloni at the kitchen. She would spend the whole morning there!
Pasta and mushrooms make one of the most delectable combos!

First you should only eat mushrooms that you know are not toxic, in case you doubt, don’t eat! Go to specialized shops and buy them there, dehydrated ones are also a good option, but now that they can be found fresh, even better!

For this dish, I used Fredolic Tricholoma terreum, Camagroc Cantharellus lutescens and Cep Boletus edulis.


The delicious filling,

Before and after the oven.

I’m sending this recipe over to Ley from Cilantro and Lime and her first event: Baking for Breast Cancer Awareness, please pay her a visit and send her your dish… the more, the better :D.

One of the requisites Ley asks for is talking about a personal/family story and I will talk about my mom’s braveness and courage!

When my mom was 42, one summer day she got the family together and told us that she was pregnant… it was a sweet and sour new for her since she just adores babies and kids but on the other hand she thought she was too old for going through another pregnancy. My brother and I were as happy as anyone could be… he was 11 and I was 13!

She had to do some rest during the first months but otherwise she felt quite good. The day arrived and Anna was born… the happy mom and baby were alright, everything went fine :D. But Anna didn’t want her mami’s milk and she started having baby’s bottle.

A few months later, my mom went to the doctor because she felt something unusual in her breast. Went to hospital for surgery and while in the surgery room, my father had to take the horrible decision… the surgeon asked him to decide wheter to take the whole breast away or not… what it should have been a small incision of a non problematic tumour turned out to be something possibly dangerous.

Back to those days, there was no psychological treatment, just family love. My father decided to avoid possible risks. One of the toughest decisions of his life. My mom has only one breast, she is the strongest and more courageous woman on earth!!! Never had a nervous breakdown. Bravo for you mama♥♥♥


Ingredients for 4 servings: 12-16 cannelloni pasta layers, 500 grs of varied mushrooms, 400 grs of fresh spinach or frozen, 100 grs of serrano ham or even better (Iberian acorn ham) cut in small dices, 1 garlic clove, 40 grs of flour, 4 dl of milk (2 glasses), 40 grs of butter, 50 grs of Parmesan cheese, salt, olive oil, black ground pepper, a pinch of nutmeg and parsley.

  • Have a big pot with salty water and bring to a boil. Add the cannelloni layers and be careful they don't get adhered to the pot wall. Boil until pasta is done (check package instructions). When so, put the pot in the sink and add cold water inside until it's all cold. Proceeding this way you will make sure the layers don't break. Once cold use your hands to pick them and put over a clean white cotton kitchen cloth.
  • Clean the mushrooms, dry them and cut in small pieces. Clean the parsley, dry and mince. Peel and cut the garlic.
  • Prepare the bechamel with the following: butter, flour, milk, nutmeg, salt and 25 grs of Boletus edulis (clean, dry and minced). In a medium pot add the butter, when dissolved add the boletus and stir for 1 minute, take away from heat and add the flour, stir until you get a paste, put back to the heat and add the milk little by little while stirring all the time. When it first boils, stir for 30 more seconds, add the nutmeg and salt to fit your taste and reserve.
  • Pour some olive oil in a sauce pan and saute the mushrooms during 10 minutes aprox. Add the ham and the garlic saute for 1 more minute. Reserve.
  • Meanwhile clean and steam the spinach. Add to the mushrooms sauce pan and stir it all for a while so that all flavours mix. Add some of the bechamel and stir.
  • Preheat oven at 200 ºC.
  • Put the filling over the cannelloni layers and roll. Put in the oven tray side by side and pour the rest of the bechamel on top. Sprinkle with the cheese. Bake for 8 minutes at 180ºC and then place in the top rack and gratin until golden.
  • You can also avoid the oven's gratin step and simply bake them for 8 minutes at 180ºC adding the bechamel on top of the cannelloni once outside the oven. Place some saute mushrooms over them to decorate the dish.


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10/10/2008 · 10:28 h by Peter G

A wonderful post in many ways Nuria! I laughed at the beginning about the elves and mushrooms and then I licked my lips when you wrote about your delicious canneloni. So sorry to hear about your courageous mother. I’m glad she is as strong as ever.

10/10/2008 · 10:59 h by Jen of A2eatwrite

Oh, Nuria, what a touching story about your family and I’m SO relieved your mother is okay.

This recipe looks absolutely, positively heavenly. I adore mushrooms and adore canneloni. Just beautiful!

I will certainly participate in Ley’s event, as well.

10/10/2008 · 11:04 h by FoodJunkie

Your mother ans so amny other women out there are a good reminder that breast cancer can be a real threat. I think your father made the best decision. Better to have someone around for longer! i have a younger brother too (12.5 years difference)

10/10/2008 · 11:35 h by Ivy

Nuria, the important thing is that your mum survived this ordeal and she took care of all of you when you needed her most.
When will you invite me for lunch or dinner?

10/10/2008 · 13:18 h by Maria

I love food that has strong family ties … I believe something made with so much love does so much more than just provide some vitamins and nutrients.
This dish looks amazing. I will definitely look into making this for a family gathering!
May your mama always be strong and healthy.

10/10/2008 · 13:22 h by Bellini Valli

This is a perfect dish for this event Nuria. Thank you for sharing your story with us…it moves me to want to participate in any way I can:D

10/10/2008 · 14:04 h by ley

Thank you SO much for participating! I seriously think that picture of the filling needs to be considered “food porn,” because I don’t even like mushrooms and I wanted to eat ALL of it. lol. These sound so good! Dustin would LOVE them- I’ll have to make them sometime for him! And they are very healthy, which is awesome! Thank you!

That is amazing about your mother. She is a very strong, confident woman! And that’s very interesting about Anna not wanting her milk- kind of like she knew something was wrong. Much love to your mama!

10/10/2008 · 15:16 h by Wservir


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10/10/2008 · 16:36 h by SweetBites

hi Nuria, just visited ur wonderful site and enjoyed feasting my eyes on yr yummy dishes & yr intersting posts. u knw wht, i’ve to agree with u 100%, pasta has indeed been adopted as a national dish everywhere in the world. ur mushroom & canneloni looks so yummy and beautiful. hve to try it soon.

10/10/2008 · 20:35 h by FOODalogue: Meandering Meals and Travels

Like others, I was working my way through your post waiting for the comment section to tell you that I’d never heard of those mushroom varieties…and got to the story about your mom, dad and Anna and nothing I had to say seemed important. Family is everything and I’m glad you’ve got yours!

10/10/2008 · 22:56 h by Nathan

I must try it, I can’t afford Serrano ham here in the states or find it in a store so I’ll use bacon (I know I know bacon is not as good as Serrano or Iberian Acorn ham)

Mmmm…. Bechamel sauce, I have so much butter in the fridge I need to figure out what to with all of it (well frozen it can last 6 months)

Truly this looks like a comfort food, cured pork, mushrooms, spinach, pasta, and bechamel what can be more comforting :)

10/11/2008 · 3:37 h by Psychgrad

That is an amazing story about your mother. I’m happy to hear that things turned out well for her and your family.

Beautiful dish. Mushrooms are a new love of mine, after I discovered that my dislike of mushrooms was due to a dislike of canned mushrooms. I would not feel confident in my ability to differentiate mushrooms, so I just stick with store/market bought.

10/11/2008 · 8:58 h by Núria

Hola Peter :D. Thanks for your kind words! Humour and Love are such important things in life, don’t you think?

Thanks so much Jen! Hope you enjoy the recipe if you try it yourself :D

Hola Foodjunkie! Yes, he took the best decision but I wouldn’t have liked to be in his place! Such young brothers/sisters are a gift :D

Ivy, there’s ALWAYS a plate in my table for you!!! Of course the rest of the family is also invited :D

Thanks so much for your kind words, Maria :D. I love performing traditional and old dishes and those that have a family tradition even better!

Hola Val! So glad you liked it! Yes, please get into the event with one of your fabulous dishes :D

Thank you, Ley! Your idea is fantastic and this way we can help arise awareness on breast cancer! A pleasure participating!!!
Thanks for your kind words, darling.

Hola Sweetbites! Welcome to Spanish Recipes :D. So glad you like my blog and recipes! This kind of comments do feed me ;D. Thanks.

Thanks so much Joan! Yes, family always goes first and health is soooo important!
These are only 3 kinds of mushrooms, we are fanatics here and got so many other kinds that I didn’t show!!!

Hola Nathan! Hey, bacon is a good choice… not better or worse than ham, simply different but also good! Great idea :D

Hola Psychgrad! Thanks so much for your good wishes darling.
I agree with you here, canned mushrooms are my last option. First go fresh and second dehidrated ones :D

10/11/2008 · 9:30 h by Peter M

Nuria, you always make the reader feel like they are in your kitchen – listening to your family’s stories and sharing your wonderful food.

Pasta is not just about Italy and this Spanish canneloni with mushrooms is right up my alley.

10/11/2008 · 13:45 h by Ben

Nuria my mushroom house is not safe with you roaming around! LOL I also love mushrooms and I would use them more but Jon doesn’t like them, can you believe that? Your canneloni look delicious and your mom’s story is very touching, She’s blessed for having such a great family :)

10/13/2008 · 1:58 h by Katie

Such a touching story about your mom! What a brave, inspiring woman.

10/13/2008 · 6:10 h by Heather

Hooray for mushroom season! This pasta looks so beautiful and earthy.

I’m so sorry to hear about your mom’s illness. But if you’re anything like her, I know she’s a strong, witty and courageous woman. Oh, you said that about her already. :)

10/13/2008 · 9:13 h by FoodJunkie

I have a little award for you on my blog!

10/13/2008 · 14:39 h by Núria

Thanks Peter! And you always have the right and proper words to say :D :D

¿Qué eres tu Ben? un elfo o un gnomo? HE, he that was fun! Thanks darling.

Thanks Katie… she is!

Thanks so much Heather! Women in general are stronger than men… don’t you agree?

Thanks so much Food Junkie♥♥♥

10/13/2008 · 22:52 h by Elly

Ohhhh Nuria, you KNOW I love this post :) This looks too good! You could put bechamel on a tire and I would probably eat it happily. LOL! But of course I prefer it on the mushroom canneloni :)

10/14/2008 · 4:59 h by noobcook

Thanks for sharing your wonderful story … you mum indeed sounds like a strong and wonderful woman ^_^ Your pasta dishes is oh so dainty and wholesome looking

10/15/2008 · 1:24 h by glamah16

Beautiful post Nuria. She sounds like a fighter. And how blessed she is. BTW , I love anything with mushrooms.

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