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Starter Pasta Recipe Mushroom Spinach Ricotta Cannelloni

Beautiful blue skies and warm weather in April was exactly what we needed to start our 2018 B&B (Chambre d’Hôtes) season.  The grass became a lawn again, the trees all turned a lovely shade of green and bright patches of colourful flowers began to appear in the garden, all our hard work during the winter months had been worthwhile.

Entrance Mas d'Augustine Spring 2018

The vegetable garden is now replanted, and the potatoes and tomatoes are already sprouting.  The artichokes are in the ground and the haricot beans were planted in May.

Our first guests of the year were a party of eleven meeting up at the Mas d’Augustine for a birthday celebration and, although we had a few April showers, they had a wonderful weekend of sightseeing, wine tasting and dining.

Mas d'Augustine Spring 2018 Garden

We had our first table d’hotes (for 11) at the end of April and took the opportunity to try out two of the new recipes we had worked on during the winter. One of those recipes is this Mushroom Spinach Ricotta Cannelloni. This pasta dish can be served as a starter or as a main course. We served the pasta as the first course followed by a chicken dish (with a grand entrance), watch this space for that recipe – soon!

Mushroom Spinach Ricotta Cannelloni

Mushroom Spinach Ricotta Cannelloni

Although we served this recipe as a starter, it could easily be the main course, if you increase the quantities. The trickiest part is stuffing the cannelloni shells with the mixture of mushrooms, spinach and cheese. Serve hot with a small side salad.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 32 minutes
Course Starter Course
Servings 4 people (as a starter)


  • 8 Cannelloni Tubes
  • 800 g (3.5 cups) Mixed mushrooms
  • 200 g (2/3 cup) Spinach
  • 200 g (2/3 cup) Ricotta
  • 50 ml (4 tbsp) Vegetable stock
  • 100 g (1/3 cup) Parmesan finely grated
  • 150 g (1/2 cup) Unsalted Butter
  • 50 ml (4 tbsp) Red wine
  • Nutmeg grated
  • 2 Avocadoes
  • 2 large Ripe tomatoes


  • Slice the mushrooms very thinly and sauté with a little oil.
  • Add the red wine and continue cooking until the wine has evaporated and the mushrooms are soft, then season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.
  • Blanch the spinach in boiling salted water for a few minutes and then cool immediately in iced water before chopping it finely.
  • Mix the mushrooms with the chopped spinach, grated parmesan and ricotta.
  • Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
  • Put the mixture into a piping bag.
  • Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the cannelloni tubes until al dente, then refresh in iced water and drain.
  • Coat the pasta tubes lightly in a little oil to prevent them sticking together.
  • Using the piping bag fill each tube with the mushroom and spinach mixture and place in a buttered dish, add the stock and cover with foil.
  • To make the sauce bring the butter to the boil and cook until it turns a deep golden colour and takes on a nutty smell, then strain and set aside to cool.
  • Bake the cannelloni in a pre-heated oven at 180C (350F) for 10 – 12 minutes, then remove the foil and grate over some extra parmesan.
  • Return to the oven and place under a hot grill until golden.
  • Finely chop the tomatoes and avocado and then season with salt and pepper and a little French dressing.
  • Place 2 cannelloni on each plate, grate over a little parmesan, drizzle over the warm butter sauce and dress the plate with the avocado and tomato salad.
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Gary and Jane Langton

Gary and Jane Langton

When Jane was younger she wanted to be a show-jumper and, although she had some success, Jane knew she could never afford a horse that could take her to the top. Similarly, Jane enjoyed cooking and would have loved to be a chef, but she always knew that the unsocial hours would never fit with raising her family. So she stepped into the world of property construction and interior design, where she enjoyed a successful and fun filled career.

Gary went to a nautical school and always dreamed of going to sea, captaining his own ship. Although he managed to be selected for officer training in the Royal Navy at an early age, by the time he was 18 he no longer had 20:20 vision and his chosen field in the RN was no longer open to him. For a short period Gary studied quantity surveying before finally choosing a career in banking, during which time he lived for a period in New York before returning to London and ultimately running a global business team (involving much travel).

Jane and Gary met, via the internet, in February 2005 and their relationship took off. By 2007 they were married and, in early 2009, they both decided that enough was enough - the constant travelling with their jobs, rushed weekends together and too much politics in their business lives finally taking its toll.

So they decided on a total change of life. Jane had always dreamed of running a boutique hotel or upmarket B&B and pushed this idea which was accepted by Gary as he couldn’t come up with an alternative plan. The couple finally decided on France (proximity to their children in the UK and good weather) and spent about 18 months viewing 100+ properties in the South of France, from Provence to almost Spain and back, before finally settling (in December 2010) on an old stone house (and former silk farm) in La Bruguiere, a small village about 10 minutes from Uzes, France’s first Duchy and a beautiful little town.

The house renovation took 17 months and they first opened for business in summer 2012. As they end their sixth year in France the couple have no regrets and remain positive about their future.

Jane has finally managed to fulfil one of her childhood dreams of cooking professionally for others and continues to ride her horse. Gary works front of house at Mas d'Augustine their chambres d’hôte and (when asked) offers business advice to friends/associates in their location, whilst amusing himself by playing (bass) in a local French group. The couple recently started an additional business to project manage renovation works/remodelling (and, if requested, provide interior design) of holiday homes for absentee owners.

Life is too short to stand still and wait for it – Jane and Gary are firm believers that life is for the taking. Enjoy Jane's recipes here or spend a couple of nights to savour her cooking first hand.

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