Jan 25, 2011

Spinach, Mushroom, and Artichoke Manicotti

It's no secret that I love pasta. I haven't really met a pasta dish that I didn't love. Maybe eggplant laden pasta, but otherwise I'm smitten pretty quickly with most pastas. And what's better than a baked, cheesy pasta? Um...nothing. At least almost nothing. ;)

These manicotti are stuffed with a mixture of ricotta, spinach, mushrooms, and artichokes, then topped with easy marinara sauce and mozzarella and baked to bubbly perfection.

This dish does take a little time to make. The stuffing mixture could definitely be made ahead of time, as could the marinara. When dinner time arrives, just partially cook the manicotti, assemble and bake. It's definitely worth every minute, though.

Spinach, Mushroom, and Artichoke Manicotti
adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

For the marinara sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
Pinch crushed red pepper
Pinch sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

For the filling:
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 cup sliced baby Bella mushrooms
1 cup frozen spinach
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

1 box manicotti
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and coat a 9 by 13 baking dish with cooking spray.

To make the marinara sauce:
1. In Dutch oven or other large pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 3o seconds.
2. Add in red pepper flakes, sugar, and tomato paste. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute. Add in tomatoes and combine. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.
3. If sauce is too "chunky", use an immersion blender or blender to smooth out sauce.

To assemble the filling:
1. Heat a large sauce pan over medium-high heat with olive oil. Add onion and mushrooms and cook until liquid has released and evaporated, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add garlic, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in spinach and artichokes
2. In a large bowl, stir together ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and Parmesan cheese. Add egg and mix well. Stir in spinach mixture and seasonings.

For the pasta:
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add manicotti.
2. Cook less than al dente. Pasta will continue to cook in the oven.

To assemble and bake manicotti:
1. Spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce in the bottom of the baking dish.
2. Fill a piping bag or large zipper top bag with the filling and snip off the corner. Pipe
the filling into each manicotti until full. Line prepared baking sheet with each stuffed manicotti.
3. Top manicotti with remaining marinara sauce, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
4. Cover with foil and bake until bubbling, about 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake for additional 5-10 minutes, until cheese in melted.

2 comments:

"pup" said...

Yum!! I love any kind of stuffed pasta, shells, manicotti, ravioli.. all are delicious!!
And these look like cheesy gooey heaven!!

Rebecca@Confessions of a SAHM said...

I was doing my dinner menu for next week last night and didn't see this on there! Glad I check daily! :) Adding this to the menu! Looks delish!

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