Saturday, October 30, 2010

Spinach and Mushroom Manicotti

Lately we've been on a mushroom kick around my house. I used to almost never cook with mushrooms, and in the last couple of months, I've bought fresh mushrooms several times for use in different dishes. Here's the latest dish. I found the original recipe on Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen (posted by doubledippedlife), but I changed the cooking method as well as some of the ingredients. So what you see here, is what I did. You could substitute frozen chopped spinach for the fresh spinach, just remember to thaw and drain the excess liquid before adding it in. I actually prefer fresh spinach to frozen because I find it has a less earthy flavor, but either will work.

Spinach and Mushroom Manicotti

1, 28 oz. jar of marinara sauce (or for a homemade version, try this recipe)

2 Tbl olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced (I used a garlic press)

10 oz. weight Fresh Spinach, chopped

8 oz. fresh button mushrooms, chopped

2 whole eggs, beaten

16 oz. weight ricotta or cottage cheese (I used cottage cheese)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

8 oz. weight manicotti shells

2-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese (I used the stuff from a can)

Cook the manicotti shells according to the directions on the box, but subtract one minute on the cooking time (this will under cook the pasta by just a little, but they will be easier to fill and they will finish cooking in the oven). Drain the pasta, and set out (separately) on a wax paper for them to cool.

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Add chopped spinach and mushrooms, stirring until mushrooms are cooked and spinach is wilted (the spinach should still be green, not brown). Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 340* F while you assemble the filling and fill the shells. For the filling, beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add ricotta/cottage cheese, salt, pepper, and 1 cup mozerella cheese. Stir to combine. Add in the spinach and mushroom mixture and stir.

Spread some marinara sauce (probably 1/4 to 1/2 cup) on the bottom of a 9 x 13" baking pan. Fill the manicotti shells with the filling (I just used a small spoon and made sure that the shells were stuffed, but becareful to not break the shells). Arrange the shells in the baking pan. Top with remaining marinara sauce and top with the remaining mozerella cheese and the parmesan cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted.

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