Using already made fresh pasta sheets speeds up this family favourite. Make the manicotti ahead and keep in the refrigerator overnight before baking so all you have to do is pop the pan in the oven when you get home for dinner. Perfect served up with salad and toasted garlic bread.
Garlic and Spinach Manicotti
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- 1 pkg (350 g) fresh pasta sheets
- 16 cups (4 L) baby spinach, washed (about 425 g)
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) extra virgin olive oil
- 10 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp (10 mL) dried oregano leaves
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) hot pepper flakes
- 1 tub (500 g) ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
Creamy Rose Sauce:
- 2 cups (500 mL) tomato basil or marinara pasta sauce
- 3/4 cup (175 mL) whipping cream
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh basil
1. In large pot of boiling water cook, pasta sheets 3 at a time for about 5 minutes or until tender but firm. Remove with slotted spoon and run under cold water and place on clean tea towel. Cut each in half crosswise; set aside.
2. With water clinging to the leaves, place spinach in large skillet, in batches and cook over medium high heat, turning occasionally for about 8 minutes or until wilted. Remove to colander and let drain. Press to remove some of the liquid from spinach.
3. Return skillet to medium heat and add oil, garlic, oregano and hot pepper flakes and cook for 2 minutes or until garlic begins to turn golden. Add spinach and toss to coat. Scrape into large bowl; let cool slightly. Add ricotta, egg, feta, parsley and salt and stir to combine well.
4. Spread about 3 tbsp (45 mL) of the spinach mixture along one short side of pasta sheet and roll up. Repeat with remaining pasta sheets and filling; set aside.
Creamy Rose Sauce:
In saucepan, combine pasta sauce and whipping cream. Bring to boil and add basil. Pour enough of the sauce to cover bottom of greased 13 x 9 inch (3 L) casserole dish. Place manicotti snugly into sauce and pour remaining sauce evenly over top. Cover with foil and bake in 350 F (180 C) oven for about 30 minutes or until bubbly. Uncover and bake 10 minutes or until slightly golden. Makes 14 manicotti, enough for 6 to 8 servings.