As you know I make at least one or two meatless recipes a week at my house. Last week I made Baked Manicotti. It;s a spinach and cheese filled pasta tube.
It’s quite simple to make and can be made in advance. I made mine in the morning then popped it in the fridge while I ran a few errands then threw in in the oven 20 minutes before dinnertime.
This dish is inexpensive, quick, and really yummy. I served it with a tossed green salad and a slice of toasted garlic bread.
1 box Manicotti pasta
1 lb. bag of frozen chopped spinach – thawed
2 tbls. garlic powder
1 can or jar of pasta sauce (24 oz.)
15 oz. Ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1. Prepare Manicotti tubes as directed. Drain and set aside.
2. Squeeze as much water as you can from the thawed spinach and place in a mixing bowl.
3. Add garlic powder and stir well.
4. Add ricotta cheese and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Stir to evenly distribute.
5. Add 1/4 of pasta sauce to spinach and cheese mixture. Stir well.
6. Divide spinach mixture equally between the pasta tubes and gently stuff each tube with the mixture.
There’s really no neat way to do this. I tried using a small spoon, but it went too slowly or tore the pasta tube. So far I’ve found the easiest, but not the neatest way to stuff the tubes is with bare fingers.
A bit messy, but it works!.
7. Place stuffed pasta into an oven safe baking pan.
8. Pour remaining pasta sauce over all.
9. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese over sauce.
10. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until cheese melts.
If you are making it in advance, cover the pan with foil or plastic wrap and place it into the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake it. Baking time will be a bit longer, another 10 minutes or so or until the filling is warm and the cheese melted.
Serve with salad and hot garlic bread, Bon Apetito!