Manicotti pasta with a cheesy spinach filling, topped with a white cheese sauce and baked
8 ounces manicotti pasta*
9 ounces fresh spinach leaves, coarsely chopped OR 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped onions or sliced green onions
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/3 cups milk
1/3 cup chicken broth or water
4 ounces shredded Monterey Jack or Swiss cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1. Cook pasta according to package instructions for al dente. Be careful not to over-cook pasta, or it will break apart when you try to fill it. Drain pasta and rinse with water until cool. Set aside.
2. If using fresh spinach, lightly saute it in a large skillet, adding just enough water to keep it from sticking. As soon as spinach is wilty, remove to a strainer to drain. If using (thawed) frozen spinach, squeeze out excess water.
3. In a medium size saucepan, saute onions and garlic in butter. When onions are translucent and tender, add flour and stir to coat. Add milk all at once and whisk until mixture is bubbly and thickened.
4. Add chicken broth and cheese, stirring until cheese is melted. Add salt and pepper; stir. Set sauce aside.
5. In a mixing bowl, combine egg, cottage or ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, and spinach, stirring well. Using a small spoon, fill the cooked manicotti with 1-2 tablespoons of filling.
6. Lay filled shells in a lightly greased 9x13-inch baking dish. Pour sauce over filled shells.
7. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
*This will allow for about 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling per tube. If you want less pasta and more filling, you may wish to decrease the amount of pasta to 4 or 6 ounces rather than 8.
I have also substituted jumbo stuffing shells for the manicotti. Nine jumbo shells will result in a nice amount of filling in each.
This recipe was submitted to tammysrecipes.com by Teresa F. of Ohio.
30 minutes + 10 minutes stand time
This is an excellent homemade pasta casserole. The spinach filling isn't too strong, and the white sauce is flavorful and cheesy. This is easier than making spinach-cheese ravioli, yet tastes just as delicious! My rating: 10/10.