Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Spinach manicotti in creamy tomato sauce

I love manicotti.  The end.

Just kidding. It's only the beginning.

Here's what you'll need:
  • Salt and pepper
  • Manicotti shells (the recipe calls for 8 from an 8 oz package)
  • 2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 container (15 ounce) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 package (10 ounce) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2 cups prepared marinara sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
Preheat the over to 375 degrees.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta shells for about 7 minutes.  

On a side note, no matter how nicely these are packaged, there are always some broken ones.

Why does that always happen to me?

I guess it's a good thing you don't use all of them.  Although the broken ones still taste good.  I promise.

Drain well and arrange in a single layer on an oiled rimmed baking sheet.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and lemon zest.

Hahaha.  Why am I so immature?

Also, I accidentally put the whole cup in.  Then I had to scoop half a cup back out.  Perhaps I should learn how to read directions.  Although I never do.

Anyways, stir in the spinach and season filling to taste with salt and pepper.

Now here's a cool little trick.  Transfer the filling to a large zip-top plastic bag.  Twist and squeeze bag so filling is in one corner.  With scissors, snip a 3/4 inch opening in corner.

Pipe filling into both ends of each pasta shell.

Except that didn't work for me.  I ended up using my fingers.  These shells are an indication of what my hands looked like.

I guess I'm just a hands-on kinda gal.  Anyways, arrange them in a glass baking dish.  In another bowl, whisk together marinara sauce, oregano, and cream.

Okay, so that's not 2 tablespoons.  But I like cream.  What can I say?

Top the whole thing with that other half cup of Parmesan cheese.

Bake until sauce in center is bubbling and Parmesan is browned in spots (about 30 minutes).

1 comment:

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