Friday, February 19, 2010

Primal Manicotti

As a kid, manicotti was one of my favorite dishes. I wanted to try making a primal version of it, because I could care less about the pasta but still love the gooey cheese and tomato sauce.
I used cabbage leaves in place of pasta shells ... it tasted great but they were kind of hard to cut which made it kind of messy. So while it's not something I would readily serve to children under 12, it's still a great-tasting healthy alternative to traditional manicotti.

To make 2 servings, you will need:
4-6 cabbage leaves (depending on their size)
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tbsp parmesean cheese, grated
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
Dried basil and oregano (to taste)
Marinara/red sauce (I'm lazy so I just bought ready-made sauce)

1. Remove cabbage leaves from cabbage head, trying to keep them as intact as possible. This can be a little tricky and take a little patience. Don't worry if they tear in one or two places. Boil cabbage leaves in water for about 4-5 minutes. This should soften them up a bit.

2. Mix ricotta, 1/2c mozzarella, parmesean cheeses along with garlic and herbs.

3. Place cabbage leaves in baking dish. Scoop about 1/2c of cheese/herb mixture into center of leaf, and then fold the sides up and over the top, making a roll shape. Use a toothpick in the center to hold the cabbage leaves shut.

4. Bake at 350F for about 15 minutes.

5. Remove from oven, pour marinara sauce over rolls and top with remaining mozzarella cheese.

6. Bake for an additional 10 minutes to melt cheese on top.

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