Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Spinach Manicotti

Hey Everyone!

After a long spell of silence, I return to the blogosphere. New kitchen, new location, new recipes! I moved out of Indiana and to the east coast, more specifically New Jersey. Both wife and I relocated here for employment opportunities (no more grad school for her!) and we bought a house, so now I have more space to cook and make a mess.

The cuisine options in NJ are extremely different than what I was used to in Indiana, and as expected, there’s a lot of Italian out here. So what better place to start? After failing to find some ingredients for our original dinner plans (enchiladas), I called an audible and decided to make manicotti.

More to come over the next weeks!

Spinach and Ricotta Manicotti 
Serves 4

1 package dried manicotti
15oz container part skim ricotta cheese
1 10oz package frozen spinach, thawed
2 oz Parmesan cheese, grated
8 oz Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1 16oz jar of your favorite pasta/marinara/tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Boil pasta according to directions. Let cool on sheet pan. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, basil, oregano, and some salt and pepper. Using your hands or a dish towel, wring out most of the moisture from the spinach. Add the spinach and ~1oz of the Mozzarella to the bowl, mix to combine well. If the mixture seems somewhat dry, add 2 tablespoons water to help combine. Transfer filling to a zip-top bag and seal closed.

In a 13x9 baking dish, add a small amount of the sauce and spread to cover the bottom of the pan. Cut one of the corners off the zip-top bag and pipe the filling into the manicotti. Arrange in a tight single layer and cover with the remaining sauce. Top with Mozzarella and cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, remove foil, and bake for 20 minutes longer or until cheese is bubbling.