Ok, think of a nice name for this dish, maybe something in French or Italian. I made this dish last night. It tasted really great. So as always, I share.
1 lb. chicken tenders, 1/2 inch cubes
8 oz. fresh mushrooms
14 oz. good tomato sauce
6 oz. good tomato paste
1 onion, diced
1 tsp. each, fresh rosemary, fresh basil, fresh oregano, fresh thyme
4 cloves garlic, minced
24 oz. small curd cottage cheese
1 package, large pasta shells
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Saute the mushrooms in a 3 quart sauce pan with a little olive oil until half-way done. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until lightly softened. Add the tomato sauce and paste, and the herbs. Cover and simmer.
Again using the olive oil, saute' the chicken over medium heat until just barely cooked through. Remove to a suitable mixing bowl. Add 1/2 of the cottage cheese to the cooked chicken. Strain and reserve the whey. Mince the chicken/cheese mixture and put back into the bowl. Mix the whey back in.
Boil the pasta shells until al dente'. Drain and run cold water over them to quickly cool them. Put the chicken mixture into a piping bag and fill the shells. Lightly coat a baking pan with olive oil. Place the shells, open side up in the baking dish. Spoon the remaining cottage cheese evenly into the shells. Lightly coat with the sauce. Bake at 350' for fifteen to twenty minutes, or until the pasta shell edges start to crisp. Arrange the shells in a starburst pattern on plates and serve with garlic bread.
The rich sauce compliments the pasta and salty chicken filling (from the cottage cheese) perfectly. My son was helping me with this dish and said that it was a waste of good chicken tenders. He changed his tune and apologized after he ate a plate of it. The sauce was a bit stronger than what I would use for spaghetti. But it had to carry the chicken/cheese, and thick pasta shells. It did, and was toned down by the sweetness of the pasta and the salty chicken.
This was one of those recipes I played with in my head, balancing the flavors before I actually started cooking the dish. Everyone love it.
Change it up if you want. Maybe add some spinach to the filling, or some pine nuts. You might change the cottage cheese to mozzarella, or maybe a good Asiago, or Parmesano Regiano. This recipe is both diabetic friendly (in moderation), and migraine friendly as cottage cheese doesn't contain the compound found in most cheeses that sets off the headaches. And it allow people with those restrictions to enjoy a very good tasting meal. It's also very low in saturated fats. That's a plus in my book.
I just need a good name for it.
Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North