Rolled chicken breast stuffed with ricotta and spinach is the perfect way in which to use up some fresh ricotta that I bought the other day–it’s very perishable and I can’t bear to ever throw it away. Fresh ricotta imparts a luxurious creaminess wherever it goes.
Tonight, I’ve used fresh spinach to make this stuffing, but you can absolutely use frozen spinach–thawed and squeezed dry. This stuffing is basically the filling for spinach ravioli or cannelloni. Instead, I’m using thinly pounded chicken breasts to encase the filling. The rolled breasts then get lightly browned and poached in a little tomato sauce. Some of the cheese and spinach oozes into the tomato sauce, therefore, it’s imperative that you make a little pasta to serve alongside the chicken (or at least have some fresh hot bread handy to mop up that sauce!
Rolatini di Pollo
serves 4, with leftovers
6 thinly pounded chicken breast halves
8 oz. ricotta
10-oz. spinach, blanched, squeezed and chopped or a box of frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry, and chopped
6 fresh mint leaves (optional)
1/4 c grated parmiggiano
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 cup tomato sauce
To make the stuffing, combine the spinach, mint, ricotta, parmesan, egg, salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Pound chicken breast halves to about 1/2″ thinness or less. Spread out on foil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place 2 lengths of kitchen string crosswise under each piece of breast. Place a dollop of stuffing on each piece.
Roll and tie breasts into nice little bundles but don’t tie too tightly or you’ll squeeze out the stuffing.
Add sauce, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.
May be made a few hours ahead, then gently reheated. Excellent cold for lunch as well!