Monday, March 12, 2007

Yum, Yum, Eat it up!

This week's Fun Monday was brought to you by Beccy. She's hungry, so she wants to have some recipes. Check her out for the full list of FMers.

My recipe originated at Capay Organic, and I totally thank them because it took a long time to find a manicotti recipe that used fresh (not frozen) spinach. Thanks guys! I keep meaning to check out their other recipes but never get around to it (they have a million).

My entire family LOVES this recipe, from my Grandma right down to my daughter (who normally never wants to eat anything but white soup, oatmeal, and candy). This was my trick recipe to get her to eat some vegetables. I will warn you, this recipe involves A LOT of chopping, so if your the type that hates to chop this recipe will be a pain. So without further ado:

Spinach Manicotti !

(my additions will appear like so)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced (I generally add an extra clove or two-I love garlic)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (The fresh part is important as I've tried it the other way and lost a lot of flavor)
1/3 cup red wine (The cheaper the wine the better I've found)
3/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 container (15 oz.) fat-free ricotta cheese
1 bunch chopped spinach (This ingredient confuses me-I usually use 1 bag of baby spinach I live where the produce sucks so this tends to be fresher than the actual available spinach)
1-1/2 cups shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese, about 6 ounces, divided
2 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 lb. manicotti noodles (I like to use giant shells instead, they're easier to fill. I always break the manicotti noodles, but use the manicotti when feeding a bunch of people otherwise you'll need too many pans)
1 onion, finely chopped
(one red pepper-cooked on a stove burner until the skin is black and then remove skin and seeds and dice)
(dash of brown sugar)
(dash of fresh oregano)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat oil in skillet over high heat.
Add onion & garlic; cook until golden. Remove 1/2 of mixture; set aside.
To remaining onion mixture in skillet add tomatoes, wine, basil, 1/2 tsp. salt, & 1/4 tsp. pepper (red pepper, brown sugar, and oregano). Cover; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, stir often, 20 minutes.

Mix ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, spinach, Parmesan, egg whites, nutmeg, reserved onion mixture & remaining salt & pepper.

Fill each cooked manicotti noodle with cheese mixture. Place in baking dish; pour sauce over. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella, cover with foil. Bake 20 minutes. Remove foil; bake until cheese is melted. Serves 7

For those who don't know what manicotti looks like I stole this picture from I Love Pasta. I need to impress upon you that there is A LOT more sauce on mine, and the stuffing is a lot greener from the spinach.


Beccy said...

Sounds very tasty, I love fresh spinach. I need to find out what a manicotti noodle is before I can make this.

Sabrina said...

This looks absolutely delicious!!! I haven't seen manicotti noodles over here, either (I'm in Ireland, too, like Beccy) but hopefully I can find something that can substitute (large shells, etc.). Thanks!!

Sabrina said...

Sorry for commenting again, but I wanted to share that I feel your pain with the limited grocery selection. I feel your pain!!!

Woodlandmama said...

I posted a picture so you could see the noodles. As I said though, the manicotti noodles are hard to fill, and I always break them, so I usually use the large shells.

enidd said...

enidd's never heard of manicotti pasta, and she considers herself a bit of a foodie. the chances of being able to buy it in molvania are much slimmer than in ireland, she thinks. thanks for a yummy recipe with lots of green stuff in!

swampwitch said...

YUM! I love spinach. Actually, I love everything in your recipe. Now, if I could only have you here to make it for me. Thanks for the recipe. I am certainly going to add it to my recipe book. Oh, and by the way, stop eating my diaper cakes. I wondered what happened to them.

Amy W said...

This sounds way more tasty than my manicotti recipe, definitely will be trying this out!

Tip to fill the pasta, I put my cheese mixture in a ziploc bag and cut a corner out of it. Then it just squeezes into the pasta.

Karmyn said...

OOH - I can't wait to try this recipe. I always plant spinach in my garden and then am so sick of spinach salad that it ends up going to waste. So, am always looking for new spinach recipes!

frannie said...

that sounds amazing!

Woodlandmama said...

Swampy- I am really lazy, I make my husband chop everything first, so you'd need him there too (I hate food processors).
Enid-I couldn't move to Molvania or Ireland, I need my pasta.
Amy W.-I've tried the Ziploc bag thingy but the spinach always clogs it up.
Karmyn- the website I got it from has lots of good spinach recipes. But another good idea is spinach with grilled chicken sliced stawberries and walnuts. They serve it at the Walnut Room in Chicago with an awsome walnut vinigrette, but have no idea how they make that.

Mrs. Really Long Last Name said...

My boyfriend will love this. On mine for today - I have a lnk from an older post with chicken manicotti - I have made that for my boyfriend and wrapped the chicken breast in fresh spinach....

willowtree said...

I've never seen or heard of manicotti either, but then I'm from Australia and there's a lot we don't see. It looks like Italian enchiladas.

I'm with you on the bunch of chopped spinach, how do they get the rubber band to stay on it?

Pamela said...


Woodlandmama said...

Wow! I am guessing, by the number of people overseas who haven't heard of them, that manicotti is actually an American creation designed to satisfy the American need to fill stuff with cheese and eat it until our arteries explode!

Woodlandmama said...

Aha! Thanks to Wikipedia I've learned that Manicotti is a term used mostly in the U.S. Else where they are called "cannelloni". Mystery solved (I guess). I liked m first guess better.

Stephanie said...

Whoa!! I SO gotta try this recipe!!

Sorry it took me so long to get here!

ChrisB said...

This sounds a very interesting recipe I have never heard of manicotti but I will definitely be looking to see if we can get it in England.