I went to a predominantly Italian high school. Well, there were a lot of Italians anyway. Each year we had a huge feast raffle dinner deal where hairy-lipped women from the old country would come to the school to create the best Italian food you could ever eat.
When they talked, all I could hear was “spaGHETti” “meataballa” and of course “ManiCOTti.”
Point is, I like eating Italian food. I like making it even though it’s all basically pasta, sauce, and cheese with a handful of whatever else is in the crisper and/or meat drawer.
Today, I’m raiding the crisper to make spinach manicotti.
Before we begin you’re going to need a few things. Get ’em and proceed to the good part.
A Few Things
1 box of manicotti
24 oz jar of marinara sauce cups
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, diced
12 oz mushrooms, chopped
12 oz fresh spinach
12 oz Ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons water
1 cup Parmesan
Salt and pepper
The Good Part
1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.
2. Fill up a big pot with a bunch of water and cook your manicotti for 7 minutes. Drain and cool the pasta on a sheet pan and set ’em aside for now.
3. Fire up another burner and heat your olive oil and garlic just before the garlic yellows. Add your mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and brown it all up.
4. Break out the big pot again and steam your spinach (2 tbsps water for 4 minutes with the lid on). Drain and chop the spinach after it’s cooled for a bit.
5. In a big bowl mix ricotta, mushrooms, spinach, salt, pepper, and half the parm.
6. Find a 9 x 13 inch pan, grease it, put half the marinara sauce and the 2 tbsps of water in the bottom.
7. Fill the manicotti. FYI, there are actual manicotti filling tools, but I just fill ’em by hand like a savage.
8. Cover the manicotti with the rest of the marinara and parm.
9. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
From the Chef
Look, spinach manicotti is a lot like spinach stuffed shells and spinach lasagna. You can mess around with the ingredients, but it boils down to pasta, sauce, spinach, and cheese. Still, the end result was delicious. Even better, the fudge brownie and ice cream dessert.
Prep Time: 30-45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes