One of my favorite types of pasta is Manicotti. When I came across this recipe in the December 2010 issue of Every Day Food, I just had to make it. I have actually had the ingredients on hand to make it for a few weeks now, I just finally found the time to make it. This is very tastey, and very rich. The recipe makes a ton of spinach/cheesy filling, so you don't have to worry about skinny little shells! Probably not something I will make all the time (or else I will be 500 pounds), but something I might make every few months.
Spinach Manicotti in Creamy Tomato Sauce
-- 8 manicotti shells
-- 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
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta shells according to package instructions. Drain well and arrange in a single layer on an oiled rimmed baking sheet.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and lemon zest. Stir in spinach and season filling to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer filling to a zip-top plastic bag. Twist and squeeze bag so filling is in one corner. With scissors, snip a 3/4-inch opening in corner.
Pipe filling into both ends of each pasta shell. Arrange stuffed shells in an 8-inch square glass baking dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk togerther marinara sauce, oregano, and cream. Pour sauce evenly over stuffed shells and top with 1/2 cup Parmesan. Please note I added some shredded mozzarella cheese because I just can't have enough cheese!!
Bake until sauce in center of dish is bubbling and Parmesan is browned in spots, about 30 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.