Sunday, October 7, 2007

Magnificent manicotti

Yesterday I decided that I would make some kind of stuffed pasta for dinner tonight. I did not know what kind of noodles I was going to use or what I was going to stuff them with until I went to the store. I let my hands do the deciding and came home with manicotti noodles, frozen spinach, cottage cheese and mushrooms. I prepped the meal this afternoon (of course making one dish with mushrooms for me, and one without for my husband) and placed the dishes in the refrigerator. About 4 hours later I removed the dishes from the fridge and set them on the counter for 20 minutes to come to room temperature before cooking. While in the fridge the noodles softened from the additional water in the pasta with helped to reduce my cook time.

I must report that tonight marks a first in my kitchen. Never before have I cooked with spinach. There was barely any taste to it and I am so glad that I tried it because it is a healthy green. My husband and I both enjoyed this dish and I can't wait to eat the leftovers.



Spinach and Cheese Manicotti
(Source: Amber's Delectable Delights)

1 box manicotti noodles
1 package fresh mushrooms
5 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz cottage cheese (ricotta can also be used)

2 cups mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
10 oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess water
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp onion powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg + 1 egg white
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1/2 jar filled with water
*If using homemade sauce just make sure there is enough liquids in it to cook the noodles while they are in the oven.

1) In a saute pan saute the mushrooms and garlic. Remove cooked mushrooms to cutting board or food processor and dice into small pieces.
2) In a large bowl combine the cottage cheese, 1.5 cups mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, spinach, mushrooms, parsley, onion powder, salt and pepper, and eggs. Combine until well mixed. In another large bowl combine the pasta sauce with the water.
3) If you are baking right away, Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
4) Scoop enough sauce into the a 9 x 13 casserole dish to cover the bottom. Stuff all the manicotti noodles and place them into the sauce (Using a pastry bag with a wide end tip is a great way to quickly stuff the noodles). Pour remaining sauce over top of noodles and cover with remaining mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil and either refrigerate until ready to cook or place in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Let set for 5 - 10 minutes before serving.

8 comments:

Carrie said...

This looks great, I have been using more and more spinach for the same reason. You can't taste it in most dishes.

Ally said...

MMMMMM!

MrsSisler said...

looks yummy!

MrsPresley said...

i have a very similar manicotti dish that uses ricotta instead of cottage cheese and i love it! we don't eat a lot of veggies but i love the spinach in this dish! :)

Katie said...

Oh ym gosh, that looks great! I LOVE spinach!

Mansi Desai said...

hi Amber,

haven't cooked manicotti before, but sure looks worth a try!

I'm hosting AFAM-Peach event at my blog...it'd be great if you could participate!

Renea said...

Yummy!

Leslie said...

I am Italian and we used to have manicotti every year on Christmas eve. Love it!