Spinach 4 Cheese Manicotti
- Serves: 8 – 10
- Preparation Time: 45 minutes
- Total Cooking time: 30 – 55 minutes
Well worth the preparation time that is required to make this dish, one of the true advantages is that once it is assembled, the dish can be covered and frozen for a weeknight meal when you don’t wish to prepare any complicated meals but also want something elegant and delicious as opposed to take out or fast food.
|1/4||cups||toasted pine nuts|
|3||cups||shreded mozzarella cheese|
|1 1/2||cups||shredded cheddar cheese|
|1||cup||shredded parmesan cheese|
|1/2||cup||plain bread crumbs|
|1||package||manicotti pasta, cooked according to package directions|
Coarsely chop the spinach then sauté in a large skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil, add in the chopped garlic and sauté until spinach is bright but just tender, remove from heat and set aside to cool in a large mixing bowl. Next, add in the toasted pine nuts, ricotta , 2 cups of the mozzarella, and ¾ cup of the cheddar and parmesan cheeses, fold with a spoon until well mixed together and smooth. Stir in the bread crumbs and eggs, mixing until well combined. Stuff the manicotti tubes by hand until completely filled and place in a 9 x 13 baking dish , single layer deep. Now, whisk together the oil and flour in a sauce pan over medium heat until a smooth paste is formed, whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer once slightly thickened add in the pesto sauce and let come to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Pour the pesto cream sauce over the manicotti and top with the remaining cheeses. If freezing at this point, cover tightly with aluminum foil and freeze. If baking immediately, do not cover, place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes or until cheese is slightly browned and sauce is bubbling. Serve with garlic bread and white wine.