After making the huge pot of marinara sauce, I felt inspired to make Spinach Manicotti with a Creamy Tomato Sauce for dinner. It’s slightly more time consuming than most of our weeknight meals, but it is so good. Martha, as in Martha Stewart, claims that this is a no-fuss meal perfect for a weeknight dinner. Clearly Martha is either 1) much faster at stuffing manicotti shells than me, or 2) has more time on her hands to prepare a weeknight dinner. Regardless, the finished product is worth it, but I wouldn’t call it fuss-free.
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 manicotti shells
1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 package (10 ounces) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 cup mushrooms, chopped into small pieces, sautéed
2 cups marinara sauce
Pinch of dried oregano
2 tablespoons heavy cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and place on a greased baking sheet in a single layer. Combine ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of Parmesan, lemon zest, spinach, and mushrooms in a medium sized bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.
Place cheese mixture in large ziplock bag. Twist and squeeze bag so filling is in one corner. Using scissors, cut a small opening in the corner of the bag. Stuff filling in manicotti shells and place in an 8-inch square glass baking dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk together marinara sauce, oregano, and heavy cream. Pour over manicotti and top with remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese has browned and sauce is bubbling in center of dish. Let dish stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve with salad and French bread.
Slightly adapted from Martha Stewart