One dish meals, I think they are my favorite. So much less clean up after dinner and more of relaxing time. Tonight I prepared spinach stuffed manicotti. You can prepare a few things ahead of time for this recipe, like making a fresh spaghetti sauce, chop up the onion, wash and chop up the spinach and prepare your pan to receive the shells after boiling. I had my homemade spaghetti sauce in the freezer (I do a lot of cooking and prep and freeze to have homemade meals rather than make a fast food pit stop), so I simply took it out of the freezer the night before to thaw in the refrigerator. So lets get to it…
Easy Spinach Stuffed Manicotti Makes about 20 stuffed shells.
– 1 small onion, chopped
– 2 cloves garlic
– 1 T. Olive Oil
– 1 package Manicotti shells (I had 20 shells)
– 9×13 inch baking dish, lightly oiled (I used a glass lasagna dish)
– Prepare a cookie sheet lined with foil and oiled lightly with olive oil. (This prevents your shells from sticking to the pan while they cool).
In a small pan on medium heat, add olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and sautée for a few minutes. Remove from heat. In a large pot, fill with water adding a drop of olive oil to the water and bring to a boil. Add the manicotti shells and cook for approximately 6-8 minutes. They should be somewhat firm, do not overcook or they will break when you are filling the shells. When they are done, remove the shells to your prepared cookie sheet, in a single layer, do not put them on top of one another, they will stick together. Set aside to cool. Begin your Ricotta mixture.
– 1 tub of Ricotta (625 grams or 2 1/2 cups)
– 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese (grated fresh or the container kind)
– 4 to 6 cups Spinach, chopped
– 1 large pastry bag fitted with just a coupler or a freezer bag with the corner cut off about 1″ wide.
– Prepared homemade spaghetti sauce or you can use a store bought variety (I used about 3 – 4 cups)
– 1/4 cup heavy cream 35%
– 1 cup shredded Mozzerella Cheese
In a large bowl, add the reserved onions and garlic, Ricotta, Parmesan Cheese and the Spinach and mix well until fully combined. Set aside. Add your spaghetti sauce to a pan and heat. When the sauce is hot, add the heavy cream and stir until combined. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spoon about 1-2 cups of your sauce in the bottom of the baking dish, spreading it to all the sides, make sure it is a thick enough layer. Take your pastry bag fitted with the coupler and fill the bag with the Ricotta mixture. Begin to fill your Manicotti shells, careful not to break any by overstuffing, fill one side halfway and then turn your shell and fill the other end. Place your shell in the baking dish on top of the sauce and repeat these steps until all your shells are filled and in the baking dish. They should be in one layer side by side not on top of one another. Ladle some more sauce on top of the shells, be generous. Top with the shredded Mozzerella Cheese. Put in the preheated oven, uncovered, and bake for about 30 minutes. When you remove your Manicotti from the oven, let it rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. Serve with crusty bread and a wonderful salad. Delish!
Forgot to take a picture when they were baked….Oooops!