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Nope, this is not a belated April Fool’s joke! Haven’t you heard the chant “April Fool’s Day is past and you’re the biggest fool at last”? This weekend, I finally got my Valentine’s Day Italian dinner date with Hubby & Little Guy. After a busy Saturday – 3 loads of laundry, 3 sinks of dirty dishes, a shopping trip for and lesson on Little Guy’s new bike (he just keeps growing), assorted other errands, and numerous trips up and down stairs (that’s how I get my exercise), I once again donned my little black dress…and I got to wear it outside the house this time!

In my February 10th blog, I wrote that Hubby, Little Guy and I were going out for a fabulous Italian dinner (my favourite) to celebrate! But then I got sick, Hubby was busy, I was away…and the time just slipped away. This Saturday, we were both home, relatively healthy…and I had nothing thawed to cook for supper. Little Guy had pepperoni pizza (no surprises there). Hubby had the Atlantic Char and risotto (not a big surprise there since he rarely gets to eat fish or shellfish at home). I have always loved cheese. Even though I am now lactose-intolerant (since Little Guy was born), I came prepared to savour a seriously rich (and cheesy) dish. I had the Cannelloni Fromaggio: Ricotta and spinach filled cannelloni, mushrooms and cream, smothered with tomato sauce, parmesan and fresh mozzarella. The cannelloni were filled with creamy ricotta and covered with tomato sauce, but the cream, mushrooms and whole spinach leaves rested under the cannelloni.

Cannelloni (Italian: large reeds) are pre-rolled cylindrical pasta served baked with a filling and covered by a sauce. It is often referred to as manicotti (Italian: sleeves), which is a dinner crepe with filling. In traditional Italian cooking cannelloni are made with pasta and manicotti with a special crepe pan.

Ricotta (Italian: re-cooked) is used almost exclusively in classic Italian dishes, but ricotta isn’t really cheese; it’s a by-product of other Italian cheeses. The whey from these other cheeses are mixed and re-cooked to create ricotta. It has a grainy texture, but is very smooth when used in savory or sweet dishes. It is also used in classic Italian cheesecakes.

There are simply no words to describe the incredible taste of this dish!

We didn’t indulge in dessert (this time) but headed straight for home (I had to finish the laundry and Little Guy needed his Saturday night bath). I can certainly say it was “better late than never” and worth every bite! Happy Valentine’s Day!