I’m so excited about tonight’s post. Why? 1- because I love me some pasta and 2- because this was my first attempt at making this specific kind of pasta. What kind you ask? Manicotti.
I’m convinced that I belong in an Italian family – pasta, pizza and wine are three of my favorite things. Is there an Italian family out there willing to take me as their adoptive (awesome) daughter? Who doesn’t want a second family? I mean, really…
Okay, back to the recipe...
One thing I did discover (and you will see in the pictures) about my first manicotti experience was: I AM TERRIBLE AT STUFFING THE MANICOTTI SHELLS. What the shell man. I gave it the “ol’ college try” but I can’t say I enjoyed doing it.
The outcome was with it however. 🙂
Okay, okay, it may not look like the typical “fluffy” manicotti pictures that you normally see, but hey, first timer here, remember? Give me a break people. Sheesh. Besides, didn’t your mother ever tell you never to judge a book by its cover? Well, mine did, and as I’ve gotten older I’ve discovered that moms really know best.
And on a side note: did you know manicotti is one of the oldest shapes of pasta that is still prepared today much like it was originally made? In ancient times, pasta dough was prepared, cut into large rectangles, filled with flavorful stuffings and then rolled and baked in the oven.
See that future adopted Italian family, I’ve been doing my research. 🙂
Mandy’s First Manicotti
Yield: Serves 3-4
- 1 box uncooked manicotti shells
- 2 cups shredded Italian blend
- 1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
- 12 oz fresh spinach (I’m sure frozen would work too)
- 1 jar pasta sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- Heat oven to 375°F. Cook manicotti as directed on box. Rinse with cool water – this is important, I learned the hard way; drain well.
- In medium bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups of the Italian cheese blend, the ricotta cheese, spinach, salt, pepper, garlic and egg.
- In bottom of ungreased 13×9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish, spread 1 cup of the pasta sauce. Spoon ricotta mixture into manicotti; place over sauce in dish. Pour remaining sauce over manicotti.
- Cover tightly with foil; bake about 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbling. Uncover dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Italian cheese blend. Bake uncovered 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and enjoy!
Don’t laugh at my baking dishes…my glass baking dishes were being utilized so I had to get creative.
One thing I love about this recipe is that it requires very few ingredients. One thing I’m not so fond of is that it takes awhile to prepare – or maybe it just took me forever because I’m a first timer. 🙂
I will say it was worth the wait…
Bryan even admitted to not being a “manicotti fan” and really liking this recipe. Or perhaps he said that to keep peace in the household…
And now for some fun pictures…
This little guy melts my heart every day. He’s so goofy, full of love and just wants a little attention every now and then – his tail never stops wagging…
Oh, and we have a little one growing in our backyard. Our first pineapple. Isn’t it cute? I am looking forward to watching it grow…then devouring it! Mwahahhaahah.
Hope everyone is having a nice week so far!