At one such local family owned restaurant, I got to try Manicotti, a type of stuffed pasta. I had something like this for the first time and loved it. Ever since then, I wanted to try and make it at home. So here is my attempt on this Italian classic.
- 1 packet Manicotti Pasta Shells (around 14 shells)
- 1 container (15 oz) Ricotta Cheese
- 1/2 cup Italian Blend Cheese
- 3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
- 2 cups chopped Spinach
- 2-3 minced Garlic Cloves
- 2-3 cups Pasta Sauce
- Salt to taste
- 2 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to 400o F
- Cook the Manicotti Shells as per the package directions.
- Rinse with cold water and drain
- Chop the spinach and keep it aside
- Meanwhile, in a bowl mix the Ricotta cheese, Italian blend cheese, half of Parmesan cheese, garlic and spinach
- Add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and mix it well
- In bottom of an ungreased glass baking dish, spread a cup of pasta sauce
- Now, fill the Manicotti with the cheese mixture and place it over the sauce in the dish
- Repeat it with all the remaining Manicotti shells
- Pour remaining sauce over the Manicotti
- Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese on it.
- Then, cover tightly with the aluminum foil and bake for 28-30 minutes
- Uncover it and serve hot
- Italian Blend cheese add a distinctive flavor to the dish, but you can substitute it with Mozzarella Cheese
- You can make this recipe in advance. Cover it with foil and refrigerate it until ready to bake. Bake when you want to serve. You might need to bake it for an additional 10 minutes.