Sunday, December 4, 2011

White Manicotti

Chad has been complaining that dinner has been the same lately... nothing new.  Just repeats of the same typical things I make week after week.  And he's right, I've been lazy with dinner lately and I've been making all the easy throw together dinners that work every time.

Tonight I decided to try something different.  This white manicotti was simple but delicious and came together pretty quickly. I was a little nervous because I didn't base it from any recipe, and was unsure about the richness.  It ended up being pretty rich but in a good way.

1 lb uncooked diced chicken breast
10 manicotti noodles
1/4 cup Italian dressing
1 tsp garlic powder
Cracked salt and black pepper
4 ounces cream cheese
1 16 ounce package shredded mozzarella
1 recipe Alfredo sauce (here) or 1 jar alfredo sauce, for weeknight dinners
Thick sliced bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
Fresh basil, for garnish

Boil noodles in a large pasta pot until almost al dente.  In the meantime, saute the chicken in a little olive oil in a skillet.  When it's no longer pink add the Italian dressing.  Simmer until chicken is browned. 
Preheat oven to 425. Put cream cheese, 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, garlic powder, and salt & pepper to taste in a medium bowl.  Pour hot cooked chicken over the cheese mixture, scraping bottom of pan.  Mix until creamy.  Set aside.
Rinse manicotti noodles with cold water for easier handling and fill with chicken mixture.  Oil a baking dish and spoon a bit of alfredo sauce into the bottom.  Line the pan with the stuffed manicotti. Pour remaining alfredo over the top and bake twenty minutes.  Add remaining mozzarella to the top and bake for another ten minutes.
Serve with crumbled bacon on top and fresh basil as garnish.

Chad not only was pleased to have something different for dinner, he said that this is by far the best Italian dish he's had, anywhere, ever.  If you know us, you'll remember that Chad's palette is not always an easy one to impress.  Hopefully this goes over well with anyone else that tries it too.

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