March 21, 2011

Swiss Chard and Ricotta Manicotti

I found this recipe in a cookbook from the American Heart Association. I am not able to eat Swiss Chard or Spinach (which could be used as a replacement). I used fresh Collard Greens; I had never worked with Collard Greens, but found them the perfect replacement.  
This has 4 servings, but I found it holds up well as leftovers. 
8 dried manicotti shells
1 bunch Swiss chard
1 tsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 ts. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
3 large Italian plum tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 375*F. Lightly spray a 13x9x2" glass baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.

Prepare pasta per pkg. directions. Drain well in a colander, being careful not to tear the shells. Set aside.

Meanwhile discard the stems of the chard. Stack several leaves and cut crosswise into 1/2" slices. Repeat with the remaining chard. (I actually used my food processor to shred them. I liked the consistency with the onion.)

In a large nonstick skillet heat the oil over medium high heat, swirling to coat the bottom. Cook the onion and garlic for 3 minutes, or until soft, stirring occasionally. Stir in the chard. Cook for 3 minutes or until the chard is wilted and the liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a medium bowl. Let cool slightly. Stir in remaining ingredients.

In a blender process the sauce for about 20 seconds or until chunky. Pour 1 cup sauce into baking dish, spreading to cover the bottom.

Gently spoon about 1/4 cup filling into a manicotti shell, being careful into to tear the shell. Transfer to the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining shell. Top with sauce. Sprinkle with the mozzarella.

Baked covered for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes. or heated through.

Serves 4

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