Spinach and Mushroom Manicotti

This manicotti came out so deliciously that I think the recipe speaks for itself.  I did make mine a bit spicy with a spicy spaghetti sauce and crushed red pepper stirred in but I know this would be fantastic with any style sauce you choose.

Spinach and Mushroom Manicotti

  • 8 o.z. dry manicotti noodles
  • 8 o.z. fresh mushrooms ~ sliced or diced
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic ~ minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 6 o.z. fresh spinach
  • 15 o.z. ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup italian blend cheese (or a mozzarella and parmesan combination)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper if desired
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • additional cheese for the top

Cook manicotti according to package directions.  Careful not to over cook ~ they will finish cooking during the baking process.

Meanwhile cook mushrooms in olive oil over medium high heat about 8 minutes or until mushrooms are cooked as desired.  Add garlic, salt, pepper, and spinach.  Continue cooking about 2 more minutes until spinach is beginning to wilt.  Remove from heat to cool. (I did not drain because the juices were very flavorful; it did make the cheese mix a bit wet but I think it was worth it for the flavor)

Combine ricotta, eggs, 1 cup of cheese and crushed red pepper.  Stir into mushroom and spinach mixture.

Spread about 1/3 of the jar of spaghetti sauce in 9 X 13 pan. Fill manicotti with ricotta, mushrooms, and spinach mix.  I used a zip lock bag with the corner cut out to fill each shell.  I think this would have worked a bit better if I’d cut my mushrooms smaller and had a thicker cheese mix (perhaps chilling the mix would have firmed it up).

They were a bit sloppy but once filled I lined them up in baking dish.

I then topped with remaining sauce and some extra cheese.

Chill until ready to bake if making ahead.  I was making these ahead so once ready to cook I heated the oven to 400 degrees and baked covered for 40 minutes.  Then uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.  I would think they may cook about 10 minutes faster if baking right away so adjust the time accordingly.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly

Homemade Lasagna ~ meat and cheese

Here’s the lasagna I mentioned yesterday in my basil post.  This came out very well.  I used a square pan so I needed to trim my noodles a bit and really only used 7; adjust pasta as needed for your pan size.  I really enjoyed the fresh mozzarella but any mozzarella will work.  Fresh mozzarella is a bit moister and softer than the pre-shredded type but both have their own charms so use your favorite or even an italian cheese blend if desired.

Meat and Cheese Lasagna

  • 1 pound ground beef or italian sausage
  • 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper; if desired
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • 9 lasagna noodles cooked according to package
  • 1 pound ricotta
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbs fresh basil
  • 1 egg
  • 12 o.z. fresh mozzarella

Cook meat and add salt and pepper if desired.  In small bowl combine ricotta, egg, basil, and parmesan cheese.

In bottom of oiled baking dish pour about 1/4 cup of spaghetti sauce.  Lay 3 noodles across bottom of pan ~ trim noodles if needed; I used a square pan so my noodles were a little long.  Layer 1/2 of the meat, 1/2 of the ricotta mixture, and 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce and about 4 ounces of mozzarella.

Repeat with next layer.  Lay final layer with noodles top with remaining sauce and mozzarella.  Sprinkle with additional parmesan if desired.

Enjoy ~ Kimberly