Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Goat Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Manicotti w/ Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce

What an Amazing Recipe, with lower fat options!
Complexity Level:  Intermediate
Goat Cheese and Spinach Stuffed Manicotti 
w/ Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce
What You Need:
4 oz. Chevre (or your favorite Goat Cheese)
1 cup Low Fat Ricotta Cheese
3 Egg Whites (whole eggs for normal recipe)
1 tsp Parsley
1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 tsp Salt (unless using parmesan cheese)
1 Large Handful Raw Spinach Leaves, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup after chopping)
If you are not making this low fat, I would also add 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese to the Filling

7 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 Yellow Onion, finely chopped
4 Basil Leaves, minced
1 tsp Fresh Parsley, minced
1/2 tsp Salt

9 Manicotti Shells (3 per person)
Low Fat Mozzarella Cheese for topping

To start, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and whisk the egg whites with the spices.  Next, whisk in the goat cheese and ricotta.  If you are using Parmesan, whisk in now.  The lower fat recipe is slightly runny when raw, but as soon as it heats while baking, the egg whites will kick in and make it thick, creamy, and perfect!

Next, place the filling into a zippy bag (or pastry bag) so you can pipette it into the shells.  Set aside and begin to boil salted water to cook your shells.  After boiling the shells to al denti, remove and chill immediately with ice water to stop the cooking.

Meanwhile, add 1 tsp olive oil, the minced garlic, and the finely chopped onion to a large skillet.  Heat 3-5 minutes, just to swat the onions and flavor the oil with garlic  Add the tomatoes, salt, and basil, and heat 8 more minutes.

This will help cook some juice out of the tomatoes, while also adding flavor to the entire sauce.  While this is cooking, toss (or stir) often to prevent any garlic from burning.

Finally, it's time for stuffing!  I used small baking dishes for each serving, 3 manicotti per person.  Spray each dish with cooking spray, then spoon about 1/4 cup of the tomato mixture into the bottom of each.  Slowly and carefully pipette the filling into each shell and lay in the dish.  Next, spoon some of the tomato mixture over the shells, and top with some low fat mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes, then either turn up the heat to brown, or broil -- the goal is to get a nice golden top and a well done center.

These are so amazing.  After baking let them cool about 5 minutes, just so you don't scorch your mouth.  But man, it is so hard to resist these fluffy, plump, juicy, amazing manicotti...

I hope you Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. YUM! Gosh I am blaming being pregnant, but I want these too haha. I am looking back on previous posts, and I'll admit, this one jsut brought back major taste bud memories. YUMMMM :)


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