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Fresh Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Manicotti







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Fresh Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Manicotti

Manicotti pasta stuffed with fresh spinach, ricotta, and mozzarella cheese then baked in a homemade tomato sauce.

Fresh Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Manicotti recipe

servings: 4

total time: 4 hours

recipe by: 

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds roma tomatoes
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 TBSP dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 15 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 10 ounces fresh baby spinach, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces manicotti (about 14 shells), uncooked



Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Use a sharp knife to cut a shallow X mark on the bottom (the opposite side of where the stem would be) of each tomato. Add the tomatoes to the boiling water and boil for 1 minute then use a slotted spoon to transfer the tomatoes to a large bowl of ice water.

  2. When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle peel off the skins (the skins should peel off easily starting from where you cut the X mark).

  3. Roughly chop the tomatoes then place them in a dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, oregano, basil, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp black pepper to the tomatoes and stir to combined. Cook, while breaking up the tomatoes, until they begin to boil.

  4. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer the tomatoes, occasioanlly stirring and breaking up the tomatoes, for about 30 minutes.

  5. In a large bowl mix together the ricotta, egg, spinach, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, and HALF (4 ounces) of the mozzarella cheese until well combined.

  6. When the tomato sauce is finished cooking take the pot off the heat. Spread a little of the sauce into a 9x13-inch baking dish (just enough to cover the bottom).

  7. Fill the manicotti with the ricotta cheese mixture using a small spoon then place the filled pasta tubes into the baking dish.

  8. Pour the remaining tomato sauce evenly over the manicotti. Cover the baking dish tightly with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (up to 24 hours).

  9. Take the manicotti out of the refrigerator and keep covered.

  10. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  11. When the oven has preheated bake the manicotti, covered, for about 45 minutes.

  12. Remove the baking dish from the oven. Take the foil off of the baking dish then sprinkle the remaining 4 ounces of mozzarella cheese evenly over top of the pasta. Return the baking dish to the oven and bake, uncovered, until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly, about 10 more minutes.

  13. Take the baking dish out of the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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