Manicotti

  • Boxed manicotti shells
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 c frozen spinach
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c grated parmesan
  • 2 c marinara sauce (any variety will work based on your preference)
  • 1 c alfredo sauce (while I love homemade, you can purchase a prepared sauce. I recommend the refrigerated style if available over the jar type)

I make my own ricotta usually, but you can use either whole or skim milk ricotta in this recipe. Bring a pot of water to boil on your stove top and cook pasta shells until just al dente. Stop the cooking process by running cold water on them. You can spread them on a tray or plate to keep them from sticking together while you are working.

For the filling: If your spinach is frozen, you can quick thaw it by putting it in a colandar and running tepid water over. In either case, use a colandar to drain any liquid from it. Press it down to push out as much mosture as you can. Mix ricotta, spinach, spices, eggs and parmesan together in a bowl. Place mixture in either a cake piping bag or a ziplock baggy which you can cut the corner from.

Pour half the marinara sauce into a rectangular casserole pan and spread around. Squeeze cheese mixture into each end of the pasta shells. (If you try to get it all filled from one end, I find you end up tearing your pasta, though you may have the magic touch!). Place each filled shell onto the bed of marinara sauce. Pour remaining half of marinara over the top of the stuff tubes. Pour alfredo sauce down a line in the center across each tube. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

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