Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Chicken and Mushroom Manicotti

Italian-style chicken sausage is made with many of the same herbs and spices as pork sausage, but, of course, it’s leaner. Here, it provides savory flavor to the manicotti, along with earthy mushrooms and two creamy cheeses.

You can use store-bought ricotta cheese, but making your own is easy and simple. For a recipe, check out Veal Manicotti with Fresh Ricotta. 

Serves 6

  • 12 manicotti shells
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb mild Italian chicken sausage (casings removed, if in links)
  • 6 oz button or crimini mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 2/3 cups fresh tomato sauce (or canned crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh ricotta cheese (or from a 15-oz container)
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Manicotti Ingredients
Fresh Ricotta Cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Cook the manicotti shells in a large pot of boiling, salted water 7-8 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the sausage, mushrooms, garlic, and shallot and season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up the sausage, until the meat is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, 10-12 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool 10 minutes.
Sausage Mixture Beginning to Cook
Cooked Sausage Mixture

  1. Place the sausage mixture in a medium bowl. Add 1/3 cup of the tomato sauce, the ricotta cheese, and parsley. Stir well to combine.
  2. Spread another 1/3 cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 13 X 9-inch baking dish. Stuff each manicotti shell with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the sausage-ricotta mixture and place side-by-side in the dish.
  3. Spread the remaining tomato sauce of top of the shells and scatter the mozzarella cheese on top.
Sausage-Ricotta Mixture
Stuffed Manicotti Shells
Manicotti Ready to Bake
Bake until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes. Remove and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Baked Manicotti
Chicken and Mushroom Manicotti

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