Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Oooey Goooey Cheesey Manicotti

"Oh Sweet Jesus in Heaven..." 

This is what I said when I tasted this.

And I'm Buddhist so I have no idea where this came from.

But I kept talking...

"It's like Heaven has come down and kissed my tastebuds and then winked seductively!"

I don't know where that came from either.

Sorry. I ramble on a lot, but this Oooey Gooey Cheesey Manicotti was so creamy and delicious I had to shout something out.
I'll give you the basics so at least you know where I'm coming from. Here's the ingredients invovled:

Roasted garlic,

Philadelphia Cooking Creme Italian Blend,

Sausage,

Chicken,

Ricotta Cheese, and

Wine

Need I say more?
Okay, I will then.


You wrap it in pasta and then top it with delicious fresh tomato sauce and bake it until it's bubbly.

I don't know about you, but I had myself at "Roasted Garlic". The smell of this in the oven alone was enough to make me swoon.

But I swoon easily.


Speaking of, please roast your garlic first, you'll be mad if you get to that part and your garlic is unroasted staring at you from across the counter.


I'm just sayin'.


Done and Delicious. If that isn't a Double D I don't know what is.


Let's get on with it, shall we?


Oooey Goooey Cheesey Manicotti 

1. tsp. Olive Oil 
1 Pound Turkey Italian Sausage
1 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast; diced
1/4 cup White Onion; minced   
1/2 cup Dry White Wine
8 Ounces Low Fat Ricotta Cheese
10 Ounces Italian Blend Philadelphia Cooking Creme
1 Roasted Garlic Bulb (Recipe Below**)
1 tbsp. Dried Parsley
1 tbsp. Dried Basil
1 Package Wonton Wrappers
1 Jar (26 ounces) of your favorite Tomato Sauce (I made my own and the recipe will follow)

1. Heat a large skillet with the olive oil. Remove the sausage from it's casing and add to the skillet. Saute while breaking up the sausage with your spoon until the sausage is cooked through.  Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess fat.
2. Now place your chicken breast and white onion in the skillet and saute until the chicken is almost cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. Then add the white wine to the pan and cook until all of the liquid reduces.
3. Transfer the cooked chicken and the sausage to a large bowl. Add the ricotta cheese, the Cooking Creme, and stir to combine. 
4. Add the roasted garlic. It should just squeeze out of the top of the bulb. Then add the parsley and the basil and continue to stir to combine. It will be gooey and cheesey at this point.
5. Now, I had leftover noodle dough, so I rolled it out and cut it into squares. However, you don't have to do this. Just go to the refrigerator section of the grocery store and buy those big wonton wrappers... much easier than this. But I had the dough and I'm a waste not want not kind of girl. Feel free to skip this part and go straight to the stuffing business...
6. The stuffing business.. Take your wonton wrapper and place a hearty glob of gooey chicken-sausage deliciousness in the middle of the wrapper. Roll it up, fold it up, however you can close the sides. (Mine look really messy because I didn't have the beautiful wonton wrappers.)
7. Place a generous portion of tomato sauce in the bottom of a baking dish and lay each manicotti in the sauce. Repeat until all your yummy gooey filling is used up. Then cover them with more of the tomato sauce. 


8. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. You want the sauce to be bubbling on the corners and your house will smell like the angels from heaven have come to visit.

Dish up an Oooey Gooey Cheesey Manicotti and enjoy!


Servings: 10 ( approx. one Manicotti)


Nutritional Skinny:


340 calories / 11.7 g fat / 34 g carbohydrates / 3 g fiber / 22.4 g protein

Roasted Garlic**

1 Bulb of Garlic
1. tsp. Olive Oil


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Take your clove of garlic and cut the top of the bulb off just enough so you can see the little cloves of garlic in there.

3. Place it on a small sheet of foil and pour the olive oil over the top of the bulb. Wrap tightly in the foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. 

4. When the bulb is soft and squeezable that's when you know it is fully roasted!


Mental Health Benefit: This meal isn't just Oooey and Gooey delicious it's also packed with a ton of lean protein, over 22 grams to be exact! It is also swimming in a delicious tomato sauce and with the lycopene in tomatoes that protect our eyes, skin, heart, hair, and bones it makes this meal not only super yummy, but also nutrient dense. Plus there are tons of antioxidants in the tomato sauce that helps us eliminate free radicals in our blood that can cause cell damage. 


So get your fork out and dig in!

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