Thursday, January 27, 2011

Spinach Manicotti

Spinach Manicotti

Serves 4-5.

Don't you love it when healthy food tastes awesome??? The original recipe says to use 8 manicotti shells, but I found the filling went further than expected.
Source: Everyday Food magazine

coarse salt and ground pepper
10 manicotti shells (from an 8-oz. package)
1 t. extra-virgin olive oil
1 container (15 oz.) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 c. finely grated Parmesan cheese (2 oz.)
1 t. finely grated lemon zest
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
2 c. prepared marinara sauce
1/4 t. dried oregano
2 T. heavy cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta shells according to package directions. Drain well and arrange in a single layer on an oiled rimmed baking sheet.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and lemon zest. Stir in spinach and season filling with salt and pepper.

Transfer filling to a large zip-top plastic bag. Twist and squeeze bag so filling is in one corner. With scissors, snip a 3/4" opening in corner. Pipe filling into both ends of each pasta shell. Arrange stuffed shells in an 8" square baking dish.

In a medium bowl, whisk together marinara sauce, oregano, and cream. Pour sauce evenly over stuffed shells and top with 1/2 cup Parmesan. Bake until sauce in center of dish is bubbling and Parmesan is browned in spots, about 30 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.

A Note From The Little Lady: If dish has been made ahead of time and refrigerated, increase baking time to 50-60 minutes.

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