Spicy Italian Chicken Suasage, Spinach and Crepe Manicotti
Serving Size: 4
- Crepes (or 8 store-bought crepes):
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup flour
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Butter, for coating the pan
- 1 pound spicy italian chicken sausage, removed from casings
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 oz baby spinach
- 3/4 cup provolone cheese, shredded (you can also use ricotta cheese)
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
- 2 (14.5 oz) cans tomatoes ( I used san marzano)
- 1/4 cup (packed) oil packed sun dried tomatoes
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
To make the crepes in a blender, combine all of the ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. This allows the bubbles to subside so the crepes will be less likely to tear during cooking. The batter will keep for up to 48 hours.
Heat a small non-stick pan. Add butter to coat. Pour 1 ounce of batter into the center of the pan and swirl to spread evenly. Cook for 30 seconds and flip. Cook for another 10 seconds and remove to the cutting board. Lay them out flat so they can cool. Continue until all batter is gone. After they have cooled you can stack them and store in sealable plastic bags in the refrigerator for several days. Makes about 20 crepes
While the crepe batter rests make the filling. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Grease a 9x13 inch pryex dish, set aside
Bring a large skillet to a medium-high heat. Add the ground chicken sausage to the pan and season with a good pinch of salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Brown all over, about 7 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
Back in the skillet, add a tablespoon of oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 3 minutes, or until they start to soften. Add the garlic and a pinch of salt. Sauté 30 more seconds. Add the spinach and toss to wilt, maybe 2 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the chicken suasage, spinach and mushroom mixture with the provolone, mozzarella and parsley.
In the meantime, pulse the tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes in a food processor until smooth. Transfer them to a small saucepan. Stir in the cream and lightly simmer. Season with a small pinch of salt and pepper.
Pour about 1/2 cup of the creamy tomato sauce along the bottom of the baking dish.
Working with one crepe at a time place 1/8 of the filling down the middle of the crepe and roll, arrange them in the dish. Repeat with seven more crepes or until the filling has all been used (I got 8 total crepes). Once all the crepes have been filled, pour a decent amount (you can decide) of the tomato sauce over the manicottis. Cover and bake 30 minutes.
Let rest about 5 minutes.
Serve garnished with parsley, and the remaining tomato sauce and freshly grated parmesan!