Monday, March 14, 2011

Turkey Cannelloni with Roasted Red Peppers

Italian is serious comfort food to me...well, probably because I would devour anything with tomato base to it.  This meal was no exception.  I think it's similar to manicotti as well as to the shells that my mom used to make - pasta stuffed with cheese, ground turkey, spinach and spices and then topped with tomato sauce. How could you go wrong?

It was also an excuse to use up more of the greens that we received from our CSA box!  I have to admit, I couldn't bear the thought of having kale/collards/spinach every week all.winter.long.  So I chickened out and didn't start our weekly CSA box until beginning of March.  But we are loving it so far!

Turkey Cannelloni with Roasted Peppers & Spinach
Taken from: Cookin' Canuck
Serves 6-8
  • 8-12 "No-boil" lasagna noodles (I used whole wheat)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2-1 lb. ground turkey, (I used about 2/3 lb of 93% lean turkey)
  • 1 cup (packed) baby spinach leaves (I used collard greens - since they are a little more coarse, I cooked them in a pot of salted boiling water for 2 minutes, then drained in a colander and chopped into smallish pieces)
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, thinly sliced*
  • 1 cup. low-fat ricotta cheese (I used nonfat cottage cheese)
  • 1/2-1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used a mix of Parmesan and mozzarella)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil (I omitted)
  • 2 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
 *To roast your own red peppers (so easy!), follow this post here

  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil and add no-boil lasagne noodles. Stir gently while cooking so that the noodle do not stick to each other. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Gently remove with a slotted spoon or tongs, and place the noodles directly into a bowl of cold water.
  2. Gently lay the noodles on a clean kitchen towel and dab off moisture with paper towel.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion and saute until they are just turning brown, about 2 minutes. Add minced garlic and saute for additional 30 seconds. Add ground turkey, season with salt and pepper and cook, breaking up with wooden spoon, until turkey is cooked through. Put a lid on top (slightly askew) and pour any accumulated juice out of the pan. Transfer turkey mixture to a large bowl.
  5. Stir in baby spinach leaves (or any greens you are using) and roasted red peppers. Mix well.
  6. Allow the mixture to cool, then stir in ricotta and 1/2 cup of cheese, dried chile flakes, nutmeg, basil and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. At one short end of each lasagne noodle, place 1/3 cup turkey mixture. Roll up noodles to form tubes.
  8. Prepare a 9- by 13-inch baking pan by spreading 3/4 cup tomato sauce on the bottom. Arrange pasta tubes, seam-sides down, in the pan. Spread additional 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce on top, and sprinkle with additional grated Parmesan cheese.
  9. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before serving

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