There is something about tomato sauce baked over pasta while smothered in cheese. Complete comfort food. You don't need to go to a good Italian restaurant to have Spinach Cheese Manicotti. This can be made at home and the best part is, you don't have to put an ounce of makeup on to enjoy this dish. Great for part-time vegetarians like myself too.
Step 1: INGREDIENTS
SERVES 4 (3 ROLLS/PERSON) | PREP TIME 40 minutes | COOK TIME 45-50 mins
- 1 (475 grams) container of Ricotta Cheese
- 275 grams of defrosted spinach (use the frozen kind for ease)
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons of dried or fresh chopped parsley
- 1/2 tsp of pepper
- 1/4 tsp of garlic powder
- 2 cups of shredded cheddar/mozzarella cheese (save 1 cup for sprinkling before you bake)
- 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese grated (save 1/4 cup for sprinkling before baking)
- 12 Manicotti shells
- 1 (575 ml) jar of Tomato Pasta Sauce (use organic if you can from a glass jar. Avoid canned if you can)
- 1 1/2 cups of water
Step 2: INSTRUCTIONS
1. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Mix the spinach, egg, ricotta cheese, garlic powder, pepper, parsley, 1 cup of the cheddar/mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese. Combine well.
3. Mix the water with the tomato pasta sauce. Spread a layer of the sauce & water mixture on a deep baking sheet/casserole dish. This is to prevent the pasta from sticking to your dish/pan.
4. Begin filling the Manicotti shells with the spinach and cheese mixture. (This can be done by scooping the mixture into a clean plastic ziplock bag and cutting the corner edge of the bag to create a hole, almost resembling an "icing" bag. Then squeeze the mixture out of the bag into each shell hole).
5. Place filled shells onto the dish/pan. Create a single layer of your shells and try not to stack them.
6. Cover the shells with the remaining pasta sauce water and sprinkle the remaining cheeses on top. 7. Bake for 45-50 minutes covered.