After traveling through Greece and Italy this Spring, I was inspired to create a pasta dish that combined some of my favorite ingredients. This month’s Recipe Redux theme challenged us to develop a “Vacation-Inspired Recipe.” Naturally I wanted to make homemade pasta after our cooking class in Florence, but for some reason life has just been too busy to tackle something like that! For those of you who know me well, I’m sure you’re aware that I ADORE cheese. Over the last year, I have also fallen in love with pesto again (I remember over-doing it with a Costco container in high school). Alas, this recipe was created. Also, I made this recipe on a weeknight and it actually lasted us several days- a rare occurrence. Pair it with a salad for the perfect weeknight meal.
- 1 package (8 oz) manicotti pasta
- 1 x 15 oz container part-skim ricotta
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese, divided
- 4 Tbsp. pesto
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 eggs
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
1. Put a large pot of water on to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together ricotta, pesto, salt, pepper, yogurt and eggs in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
3. Stir in chicken and ½ cup mozzarella cheese.
4. In a large (9 x13″) lightly greased baking dish, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce. Preheat oven to 400°F.
5. Using a piping bag fitted with your largest plain round tip (or Ziploc bag with the tip cut off), fill each cooked noodle approximately ¾ full with the cheese mixture. Place filled noodles side by side in baking dish.
6. Top filled pasta with remaining tomato sauce, parmesan and ½ cup mozzarella cheese.
7. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until filling is set and cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.
8. Let stand for 10-15 minutes.