Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr
This is a no-stress company recipe that serves 6. Make it the day before and just bake it the next day! I didn't add the chilling time to the prep time since it's so passive. For the sauce you can use Easy Light and Lovely Marinara Sauce or your favorite.
- 15 -16 ounces ricotta cheese, whole milk
- 1 lb spinach, fresh (tough stems removed (Steam the spinach lightly, plunge into ice water to preserve the color, drain w)
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, whole milk, shredded
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- 2 eggs, large
- 1 tablespoon parsley, flat-leaf Italian, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
- 1 garlic clove, smashed and minced
- 1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
- 14 manicotti, uncooked
- 5 cups marinara sauce (not too thick or chunky, Easy Light and Lovely Marinara Sauce)
- Steam spinach for a few minutes, shock in ice water, drain, squeeze water out and chop.
- Mix spinach and half of the mozzarella into the ricotta cheese. Add the eggs and parsley and mix well. Saute the shallots in the oil, cool down and add to the filling mixture. Season with finely ground black pepper and nutmeg. Put the filling into a gallon-sized baggie and chill the filling for an hour.
- Spread 2 cups of your favorite marinara sauce (use recipe #443284) (Steam the spinach lightly, plunge into ice water to preserve the color, drain well and squeeze dry. Chop it finely.) into the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking pan which is greased or sprayed. If your sauce is thick you can thin it with a little bit of water. (refined sauce works best rather than chunky sauce).
- Fill the uncooked manicotti tubes with the ricotta mixture. Cut a corner of the plastic bag off and squirt the filling from the center of the tube to the outside. Do it this way from both ends of the tube to make it full and trust me it's easier this way.
- Line the filled tubes up in your pan. Cover with remaining sauce and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap (I use Stretch-tite which works very well). Put in the refrigerator overnight.
- Next day leave the manicotti on the counter to come up to room temperature, about 1 or 2 hours. Pre-heat the oven to 350*. Leave the plastic wrap on the manicotti and wrap over it with foil. I wrap the entire pan in foil and then seal it up tight. Pop it in the oven for an hour. Check the temperature with your instant read thermometer to see if it's 190 - 200 degrees.
- Remove it from the oven and if you like the top a little crunchy just unwrap the foil and the plastic and pop it back into the oven for 10 or 15 minutes. Rest for 15 minutes before serving.
- There ya go! Mangia!