Tag Archives: Grains / Rice / Pasta

Shrimp Cannelloni with Spicy Red Pepper Sauce


A friend recently wanted to make dinner for her boyfriend (eek, now fiance!) and asked for my help.  We got together, test-drove the recipe and she re-created it for him a few weeks later. While brainstorming what she wanted to make for him, she told me he liked spicy, peppers and seafood.  This isn’t exactly the easiest list of ingredients, but this recipe came out so well.  A spicy roasted red pepper sauce with shrimp stuffed into cannelloni, absolutely delicious.  It was a hit with everyone who got to enjoy it (CH was taste tester #1) and then when my friend made it for her boyfriend, he was very pleased.

Definitely a fun twist on a pasta dish – the roasted red pepper sauce is a must make again; it would be delicious on chicken or over pasta for a quick weeknight meal.

Ps – photo credits go to CH on this post – I was out and he couldn’t wait to eat the leftovers, so I told him he had to take pictures before he ate it (also explains the slightly crispier top!!!)



Shrimp Cannelloni with Spicy Red Pepper Sauce

Yield: 6 servings (2 cannelloni each)Prep Time:  25 minuts
Cook Time:  35 minutes



  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 large red peppers, whole
  • 2 heaping TBSP sriracha or other hot sauce
  • 2 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • S&P


  • 15-20 raw shrimp (tails removed and diced into 1/2 inch sized pieces)
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella
  • 10-12 “ready to bake” cannelloni noodles  (be sure when you get the pasta you buy the ones that don’t require pre-boiling.  They will say “oven ready” or “no-boil” or “ready-to-bake”)
  • 1 cup of Parmesan cheese



Preheat your broiler to high.  Wash and dry the red peppers and place directly under the broiler. Broil the peppers, rotating frequently, until all sides are black and blistered.  Remove from oven and place in a glass bowl and cover immediately with saran wrap.  Allow peppers to sit for at least 10 minutes. When cool enough to touch, remove peppers and peel off the blistered skin and remove the seeds from the inside.

While the peppers are sitting, heat 2 TBSP of olive oil in a medium sized skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions to the pan and sauté until translucent.  Add in garlic and sauté with the onions for 30 seconds, or until fragrant.

At this point, split the onion mixture into two even portions (don’t measure, just eyeball it).  Place half of the onion mixture in a glass bowl, place the other half in a blender.

Add the peeled and de-seeded roasted red peppers to the blender, along with the onion mixture.  To the blender, also add 2 heaping TBSP hot sauce (sriracha), 2 TBSP tomato paste, 1/2 tsp chili powder), 1 tsp sugar, 1/2 cup of water and a generous dash of salt and pepper.

Puree the mixture until smooth.  Add the pureed mixture back to the pan you used to sauté the onions and warm thoroughly. Taste the sauce and adjust as you think fit…more salt, sugar etc.  *You may need to add a touch more water to make the sauce a little thinner – just depends on the size of your peppers*

Reserve the sauce until the pasta is ready to bake.


In the bowl with the other half of the onion mixture, add the diced shrimp, goat cheese, mozzarella, parsley and S&P.

Mix the shrimp mixture and stuff the manicotti shells evenly with the mixture.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Place the stuffed shells in a 9×12 baking dish and pour the reserved sauce over pasta shells, ensuring they are evenly covered.

Cover the baking dish with foil and bake the pasta 25-30 minutes.

After 25 minutes, remove foil, cover the top with Parmesan cheese. Cook the dish uncovered for another 5 minutes and then turn the broiler on and broil for a few minutes to achieve the crispy top (be sure to watch it carefully – it can burn fast!)

Serve with a salad and fresh bread and ENJOY!

A JBean Cuisine Original Recipe (inspired loosely by CookingLight Shrimp Stuffed Shells recipe seen here).


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Filed under Italian

Smoked Salmon, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pizza


Remember in this post when I said that my Spinach and Goat Cheese Dip was versatile?  Well, here is one example of that (and I have another great use for it coming soon!)

I had left-over smoked salmon after a bridesmaids brunch I hosted, so I was trying to figure out what to do with it.  Instead of simply serving it over bagels for dinner, I prepared a batch of thin-crust pizza dough, made a quick batch of the spinach and goat cheese dip and voila, an easy, quick and delicious dinner (not to mention quite healthy too!)

It’s a great way to use-up spinach that is nearing the end of its life, however it looks incredibly fancy and I would consider serving this as an appy at my next get-together.  The onions (and capers – which aren’t photographed here) are a great touch and finish it off just perfectly.



Smoked Salmon, Spinach and Goat Cheese Pizza

Serving Size:  1 medium pizza
Prep Time:  20 minutes, excluding the pizza dough preparation
Cook Time:  10-15 minutes


  • 1 batch of your favourite thin-crust pizza dough, or store-bought crust
  • 1 batch of Spinach and Goat Cheese Dip
  • 10-15 slices of smoked salmon
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/2 jar capers, drained and rinsed (optional – not shown)
  • Additional goat cheese for topping, if desired
  • Olive Oil


Preheat your oven to 500 degrees (and if you have a pizza stone, preheat that as well).  It is good to allow your pizza stone to pre-heat in a 500 degree oven for at least an additional 15 minutes.

If you have a pizza peel, lay that on the counter.  Otherwise, prepare a sheet of parchment paper (either square or cut to shape of your dough).

Prepare your dough. On top of your parchment paper or your pizza peel, roll out the dough into a round pizza shape.  Leave an edge around outside for the crust. Once you’ve achieved the shape you desire, pinch the outside of the dough to create a crust. Then pierce the crust with a fork all the way around (this will prevent large air bubbles from forming in your crust while it bakes!).

Brush the dough with a light coat of olive oil.

Bake the plain crust in the oven for about 7-9 minutes.

Remove the crust from the oven, spread the spinach and goat cheese sauce onto your crust and place back in over for an additional 7-8 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Remove the crust from the oven, immediately top your pizza with the smoked salmon, onions and capers.  Serve immediately.


JBean Cuisine original recipe

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Filed under Appetizers, Bread, Healthy, Mains

Butternut Squash Macaroni & Cheese

You know one of those dishes you instantly fall in love with, and then make it over and over?  Ya well, this is one of them in our house.  This is one of CH’s hands-down favourites, and whenever I ask him what I should make for dinner, this is on the list.

I remember making it for the first time over a year ago, while we were still in London.  I didn’t tell CH about the “secret” ingredient, I just merely served-up this delicious, creamy, bright orange macaroni and cheese and left it at that.  CH devoured the dish, went in for seconds and that’s when I popped the question on him “umm, do you notice anything difference?” // “No, oh that’s interesting – are you sure?” // “GOTCHA – it has butternut squash in it”.   Wife 1, Husband 0.

In all seriousness, this dish is EVERYTHING a good macaroni and cheese should be, plus the added health benefit of having butternut squash puree, and reducing the amount of cheddar cheese – each serving only has about 325 calories.  I’ve made this dish for company many times, for my parents (and even my Dad liked it – which is a feat in and of itself) and I most recently made it for my girlfriend who is Vegan – and it turned out beautifully (or at least I think it did…)  For those who want to make it Vegan – I used Oh She Glow’s recipe, the recipe for our usual version is below.

As a total aside, and one last note, it re-heats beautifully for lunch.  So definitely make a large batch and enjoy the next day!  Also, head over to The Way the Cookie Crumbles or Branny Boils Over for the original recipe and some great tips!


Butternut Squash Macroni & Cheese

Yield: Serves 8
Prep/Cook Time:  About 1 hour and 20 minutes, including roasting the squash “my-way”.


  • 1 small-to-medium butternut squash
  • 12 ounces (1 box) dried elbow macaroni
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 2 TBSP all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp powdered mustard
  • 2 cups milk
  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups) + 3 TBSP shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of panko bread crumbs


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash and dry your butternut squash.  Place the butternut squash, in its whole-form, in the oven and roast for 45mins – 1hour, or until a butter knife inserted into the flesh meets no resistance. (You can also cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and lay the halves cut side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 25-35 minutes).

Remove from oven, allow the squash to cool.  Cut in half, remove the seeds.

Scoop 2 cups of flesh from the squash and puree it with your hand-blender or food processor.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once it boils, add about a tablespoon of salt and add the pasta. Cook the pasta until it’s al dente – you want it to still be firm. Drain and return the pasta to the pot.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once the foaming subsides, add the flour and mustard. Whisk constantly for 1 minute, then gradually whisk in the milk.

Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking frequently, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5-6 minutes, until the mixture has the consistency of heavy cream.

At this point, add the grated cheeses, ½ teaspoon of salt, a dash of ground pepper, stirring until the cheese melts.

Next, add the pureed butternut squash to the saucepan and whisk until incorporate.  At this point, you can proceed without pureeing again, but I like a smooth as possible sauce, so I puree it one more time, in the pot, with my hand-blender.

Pour the sauce over the drained pasta and stir thoroughly.

*At this point, you can serve it immediately and it is delicious*  However…

I place my macaroni into a 9×12 baking dish, sprinkle the panko bread crumbs and additional 3 TBSP of cheddar cheese over top and put it under the broiler for 2 – 4 minutes, or until nice and golden brown.  This step adds a beautiful crunch texture to the dish, but again, it is completely option.


Recipe Slightly adapted From The Way the Cookie Crumbles, originally from Branny Boils Over


Filed under Healthy, Italian, Mains, Side Dishes, Vegetarian and Vegan