Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spinach Cheese Manicotti

Yep - I tried it again! We did another type of manicotti this week and I was up and running, so I made it this time. It went much, much smoother! That might have also been due to the fact that when I stuffed the manicotti, you leave the shells uncooked - much easier! :) It had a lot of prep work involved with it, but it was worth it... The kids all got treats after supper even, which hasn't happened for a long time - but they all devoured everything on their plates!!

Spinach Cheese Manicotti
(recipe found in Taste of Home Healthy Cooking)

1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cans (8 ounces each) no salt added tomato sauce
2 cans (6 ounces each) tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup dry red wine or vegetable broth (I used chicken broth)
2 tablespoons italian seasoning
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 package (8 ounces) fat free cream cheese
1 1/4 cups 2% cottage cheese
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pacakge manicotti shells
1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

In a large saucepan, saute onion and garlic in oil until tender. Stir in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, wine, italian seasoning, sugar and oregano. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, for filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese, spinach, parmesan cheese, eggs and salt.

Stuff cream cheese mixture into uncooked manicotti shells. Spread 1 cup sauce into a 13x9" baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange manicotti over sauce. Pour remaining sauce over top. Cover and bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes or until pasta is tender. Uncover; sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

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