Spinach and Ricotta Manicotti

25 Jul

Spinach and Ricotta Manicotti

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.  Gently, add in the manicotti pasta shells and cook until just soft. Usually this is half the time recommended on the pasta package. The pasta shells will finish cooking during the baking process. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside until ready for assembly.

Tomato Sauce

  • 1 large (796 mL) can of crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 10 mushrooms, minced (optional)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, bay leave (add which ones and however much you like)

Heat up a large pot on high and when it becomes hot, add in the olive oil and butter. Once the butter has melted, add in the garlic, onions and mushrooms. Cook until onions and mushrooms are soft and then add in the spices and sugar. Pour in the liquids (crushed tomatoes, red wine and water) and add the parmesan cheese. Mix well. When the sauce starts to bubble, turn down the heat so that the sauce is gently simmering. Simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove bay leave before using.

Filling

  • 1 bag of baby spinach, julienned
  • 400 g of ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp of flour
  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 2 cups of milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat a sauce pan until hot and then add in the olive oil and garlic. Brown the garlic. Sprinkle the flour evenly and thinly over the garlic, then add in the spinach and milk. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Turn down the heat so that the spinach-milk mixture is simmering. Add in the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.  Set aside to cool. Once cooled, add in the ricotta and egg. The egg will help the filling set during baking. It is important the filling has cooled, otherwise, the egg will scramble.

On a side note, this spinach-ricotta mixture (without egg) can be used as a light cheese sauce on pasta.

Assembly

In a casserole dish, pour enough tomato sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Fill the manicotti with the spinach-ricotta mixture. Once the casserole dish is filled with stuffed manicottis, pour enough tomato sauce to cover the manicottis. Continue with the second layer. Pour the remainder of the tomato sauce into the casserole dish so that the manicottis are entirely covered by the tomato sauce. Grate a light layer of parmesan cheese on the top.

Bake covered at 400°C for half an hour. Remove cover and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

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One Response to “Spinach and Ricotta Manicotti”

  1. Andrew October 31, 2010 at 3:26 PM #

    Last night I made this recipe (the first time I’ve tried to make one of the recipes from this blog) and it turned out really well. Thanks for sharing your recipes and I look forward to trying another one soon.

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