Saturday, March 27, 2010

"Russian" Manicotti

Whip this recipe up for your Babushka next time you want to impress her with your cooking skills! And dont worry - the Vodka is already in the sauce and guaranteed to only make you drunk with delight! * Dont let the steps scare you off - its an easy dish to prepare although it looks involved at a glance!

1 box of manicotti shells
1 jar of Bertolli Vodka sauce
1 16 oz container of cottage cheese ( I use small curd low fat)
2 cups of frozen spinach
2 cloves of garlic (2T of pre-chopped jar garlic)
2T butter
2 cups of grated mozzerella cheese (divided)
2 eggs
2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

Season chicken breasts with paprika, basil, salt, pepper, and any other italian spices you like. Drizzle with olive oil, cover dish with foil, and Bake in the oven at 350 until it is incredibly soft and falling apart ( frozen breasts usually take about 2 hours). Remove from oven and let sit in juices covered for at least 15 minutes. Then shred in dish and set aside to cool ( I never drain off the oil/juice - it keeps things moist and soft)

Cook Manicotti noodles according to directions - but drain them while noodles are still slightly uncooked. THEY WILL CONTINUE TO COOK IN THE OVEN! Set aside resting noodles in strainer.

In saucepan combine butter and garlic until butter melts and garlic browns. Add spinach and enough water to cover. Cook over med/hi until spinach is completely defrosted and cooked. Just a few minutes will do. Make sure you season well with salt and pepper. Drain and squeeze excess water out of spinach. Dump spinach into large mixing bowl. 

Add Entire carton of cottage cheese to spinach. 
Add shredded chicken 

...........> Make sure spinach and chicken arent HOT before proceeding with next steps!

Add 1 cup mozerella cheese to mixture
Add 2 eggs and incorporate well

Get your 9x13 baking dish ready by spooning enough vodka sauce to cover the bottom of it.

Take mixture and spoon it into a gallon sized ziploc bag. Snip the end about 1/2 inch to make a 'pastry bag' of sorts.

Take manicotti noodles and squeeze filling into one end until the noodle is stuffed with the mixture. Lay in pan on top of vodka sauce. When all your noodles are filled and laying in the dish, dump the remaining Vodka sauce over everything so all the noodles are covered. Then sprinkle with remaining cup of grated mozzerella cheese. 

Cover with Foil and bake at 350 for 1 hour and 15 minutes - or until sauce is bubbling throughout the dish. You can also insert a fork or knife into a manicotti to see if it looks runny inside. Remember all we are cooking is the egg in the mixture. 

Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes to crust up the cheese a bit. 

Remove dish from oven and let sit for 5-20 minutes before serving. 

Serve with Garlic bread slices


*** after you stuff your shells you will have about 2 cups of stuffing mixture left over. See our Recipe Rewind for ALFREDO LASAGNA BAKE on how to use your leftovers later in the week!!! ***

1 comment:

Sherry Bobbins said...

I can vouch for these! Soooo delicious!