Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Spinach and Cheese Manicotti

I got this recipe from my sister a couple of years ago for Cheese Manicotti – I just add spinach – gotta get those kiddos big and strong!

I recently re-discovered my blender. I don’t have a food processor (yet) or an immersion blender (yet, yet) but a few months ago, in a pinch – I looked in my ‘small appliance’ cupboard and saw my lonely blender. With the spinach in this recipe, you can chiffonade it but – the fast way is to stick all ingred (except Manicotti and Marinara) in your blender and zing! Or, you could use frozen spinach (which is already chopped up in bite sized pieces).

Spinach and Cheese Manicotti
1 bag (6 oz) baby spinach
8 oz Manicotti
1 ½ c ricotta cheese
2 c cottage cheese (I actually just to 3 ½ c cottage cheese)
½ c Parmesan
1 ½ c Mozzerella
1 T dried parsley flakes
2 t kosher salt
¼ t pepper
3 to 4 cups marinara sauce

Don’t cook the manicotti. Combine all ingredients except manicotti and sauce. To pipe, put the filling in a small Ziploc bag and cut the corner (using a sandwich sized Ziploc is just easier to manage). Also, another easy tip - I put the Ziploc in a coffee mug and fold the 'zip' part away from the baggie - this way you can spoon the filling into the bag - with no mess! Then just zip and pipe away! Put a little marinara on the bottom of the casserole, fill those babies up, then drown them in marinara. Bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, uncover, top with mozzarella and bake 10 more minutes.
This makes 2 – 8x8 casseroles or 1 – 9x13 (one to eat and one to freeze - or share!)

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