Spinach Manicotti with Tomato Cream Sauce




Ingredients:

  • 8 manicotti shells (from an 8-ounce package)
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 2 cups prepared marinara sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

What you’ll do:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta shells according to package instructions. Drain well and arrange in a single layer on an oil rimmed baking sheet while you prepare the filling. In the meantime, combine ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and lemon zest in a medium bowl. Fold in the spinach and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Transfer the filling to a large ziplock bag. Squeeze the filling to one corner of the bag and snip off a small opening in the corner. Pipe the spinach filling into both ends of each pasta shell. Arrange the shells in an 8-inch square glass baking dish.I had a hard time fitting my shells in an 8-inch pan so I used my smaller rectangular glass pan from my Pyrex set.
  3. In another medium bowl, whisk together the marinara sauce, oregano, and cream. Pour the sauce evenly over the shells and top with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan. Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the Parmesan is browned, about 30 minutes. Let sit 5-10 minutes before serving to allow filling to set.

Source: Everyday Food, December 2010

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