Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Chicken and Spinach Cannelloni

The Tomato Sauce Version

This pasta dish is another recipe I have to credit another blogger for. Kristin, of Dine and Dish, made a variation of this for her recent Italian dinner party, and it just sounded too good to skip. Kristin did it as manicotti, but I followed the original recipe and used wonton wrappers to make cannelloni. It was fun to roll the pasta up, and the filling was really well balanced. I thought the amount of sauce called for in the original recipe sounded kind of insane, so I didn't use all of it. I did freezed some of the cannelloni without sauce, too, and then cooked them later with homemade tomato sauce instead of the cream sauce. I ended up liking it better this way, and in the future would make the cannelloni exactly the same, just with a different sauce. I made this just for Joe and I, but think it would be an impressive dish for a dinner party.

The Original Version

Chicken and Spinach Cannelloni
from recipezaar.com

1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken (I use a mix of breasts and thighs)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 dry white wine
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 lb frozen spinach, rinsed and drained well (optional)
1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1 cup low fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 cups milk (I sometimes use evaporated skimmed milk for a creamier taste)
1 package egg roll wrappers
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese


In a large skillet, simmer the chicken, onion, broth, wine, and thyme, until chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken to a plate and allow to cool slightly. While the chicken in cooling, strain the broth to remove the thyme and onions. Reserve the broth in a large saucepan.

Place the onions and thyme in a food processor. Cut the chicken into large chunks, and add to the food processor. Plus the chicken until finely chopped, dividing the chicken into two batches if necessary.

Squeeze all the liquid out of the spinach. Place in a bowl with the chicken mixture, the ricotta and cottage cheese, ½ cup parmesan, nutmeg, and white pepper. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

In a large saucepan, met the butter. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn. Wisk in the reserved chicken broth, stirring constantly. Add the wine, and then the milk, stirring constantly, until sauce is snooth. Simmer, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes, while you start to assemble the cannelloni. (I will totally skip this step next time, and will just use a red tomato sauce)

Pour approximately one cup of sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish, or spread between a couple smaller baking dishes. Tilt the dish so the sauce spreads on the bottom of the dish.

To assemble the cannelloni, lay an egg roll wrapper on the counter. Place a few spoonfuls of the chicken filling onto the center of the wrap, and carefully roll up. Repeat with all the filling and wrappers. Arrange the cannelloni in a dish, and top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle ½ cup Parmesan cheese on top.

Cover with foil, and bake at 350 for about 30 minutes. During the last 10 minutes, remove the foil. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.


Joelen said...

Mmm - I love stuffed pasta dishes and this looks wonderful!

Lori said...

Here's something I always wanted to make- canneloni. I saw one for butternut squash canneloni in Martha Stewarts book. Yours looks great.

Sarah said...

I don't know why I haven't thought to make canneloni before! I love them.

A World in a PAN said...

You always stun me! I love cannelloni but it's been a long time since I last made some .. maybe I have to find my way back to stuffed pasta!