Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr 25 mins
A very tasty dish that takes about 2 hours to make but is worth the time.
- 12 cannelloni tubes or 12 manicotti, tubes
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme or 1⁄4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
- 1⁄4 cup dry vermouth
- 1⁄2 lb kale, cooked, thoroughly drained and chopped
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
- 1 cup low fat cottage cheese
- 8 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided (Parmigiano Reggiano preferred)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk, homogenized
- In a large mixing bowl combine chicken cubes, onion, thyme and vermouth.
- Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
- In the meantime, in a large saucepan with 2 cups of water, add kale and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes.
- Drain and cover kale with cold water; set aside.
- Strain the marinade into a large frying pan or skillet; set aside the chicken and onions.
- Add chicken broth to the frying pan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.
- Add chicken/onion to frying pan and poach until the chicken is no longer pink at the center, about 4 minutes.
- With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken cubes to a food processor, reserving the poaching liquid.
- Process the chicken in short bursts until the cubes are finely chopped.
- Drain kale well, chop and add to the food processor.
- Add ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, 4 tablespoons of parmesan cheese, black pepper and nutmeg and process to blend; set aside.
- To prepare the sauce, melt butter in a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat.
- Gradually whisk in flour to make a paste and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, DO NOT BURN or let it go lumpy.
- Whisk in reserved poaching liquid, bring to boil, whisking constantly, about 2 minutes.
- Add milk and return the liquid to boil, whisking frequently.
- Reduce heat to low and let the sauce simmer gently for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally while you prepare the cannelloni.
- In a large cooking pot or pasta cooking pot, fill 3/4 full with water and bring to a rolling boil.
- Add 1 tablespoon salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Add cannelloni or manicotti tubes and cook for about 15 minutes or until al dente'.
- When done, transfer tubes to bowl of cold water.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Thoroughly drain cannelloni tubes and carefully fill them with the stuffing mixture using a small spoon.
- In a 9x9-inch oven-proof casserole dish, arrange stuffed cannelloni in a single layer.
- Ladle the sauce over the cannelloni.
- Sprinkle remaining 4 tablespoons of parmesan cheese over the top.
- Cover the casserole dish tightly with aluminum foil.
- Bake in preheated 400°F oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove foil from the dish and place dish under the broiler, about 3 inches below and broil for about 5 minutes until the cannelloni is lightly browned.
- Serve immediately.
- You can delete the chicken if you do not want it. Also, you can use Spinach instead of Kale.
- You may use the sauce that I make for my UNCLE BILL'S CABBAGE ROLLS, recipe #35722.
I can't properly rate this as I played with the recipe a bit but did want to give some feedback. Loved the idea of using kale in a lasagne and it worked wonderfully as a substitute for the more normal spinach, but I had to use what I had in the house so I used lasagne noodles and ground pork instead of chicken. Because of this I also altered the process slightly, not poaching the chicken and reducing the stock by about 1/2 cup. I still followed the general idea of the recipe though. The sauce was beautiful, creamy and thick, and I thought the vermouth was a different but nice choice to add flavour to the meat. Thanks Uncle Bill for the inspiration and maybe next time I will make it properly!
Wonderful!! I didn't have vermouth, so I subbed with regular red wine and used all ricotta instead of cottage cheese. WOW! I did 2 versions - one with manacotti shells and one with crepes. Both were fantastic. I am the manacotti fanatic in the house, but this time DH was singing the joys of great italian!