Two sisters cooking and creating...and neglecting laundry. Welcome to our slice of the internet!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Recipe From Our Archives + Tips on Filling Manicotti

A dear friend recently had a baby, so another friend and I prepared some meals and took them over yesterday evening. Yay for friends! Alison made a homemade potpie that smelled heavenly and I made a good ol' stand-by, shells stuffed with spinach-ricotta filling. I posted this recipe back when this blog was a wee little baby! I wanted to share it again today for any new readers and because it's lonely and forgotten all the way back there in our archives. It's delicious and would you look at that gooey filling!? Enjoy!
Recipe (9x13 pan):
1/2 pound spinach leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup whole milk ricotta
1 heaping cup whole milk mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated (not fresh mozzarella)
1 egg
1 heaping tablespoon fresh basil, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
20 jumbo shells (conchiglione)
olive oil 
2 ish cups high-quality canned tomato sauce or homemade
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil your baking dish.
2. Wash your spinach leaves carefully with cold water. Transfer leaves with water clinging to the leaves to a medium skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring with tongs periodically, until leaves wilt evenly. It will take about 3 minutes. Transfer the wilted leaves to a sieve or colander to drain. Drain well and squeeze dry using paper towels. Chop finely.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk your egg. Add garlic, ricotta, mozzarella, basil, chopped spinach and salt and pepper. Mix well.
4. *Cook the shells in a large pot of boiling salted water, until not quite al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the shells and toss with olive oil to keep them from sticking together.
5. Spoon a  thick layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of your oiled pan. Fill each shell with a heaping tablespoon of the spinach-ricotta filling.Arrange the shells in a single layer on top of the sauce. Spoon remaining sauce over the filled shells. Top with grated parmesan cheese. Cover and bake until bubbling hot, 30-40 minutes.

*When I went grocery shopping to buy shells for this recipe, they didn't have the jumbo shells, so I bought manicotti instead. You can easily use manicotti for this recipe. It does take more time to fill each of the manicotti rolls, but I thought it was fun to fill them. Here are some tips if you decide to go that route:
- Treat the manicotti just like you would the shells, boil for about 8 minutes, drain and toss with olive oil to keep them from sticking together.
- Cut the corner off a large ziploc bag. Push a large mouthed funnel through the hole. Fill the bag with the filling. Squeeze out excess air. 
- Grab a manicotti with one hand and insert the tip of the funnel into one end of the manicotti. Squeeze the filling in (like you would when piping a cake or cupcakes) until you see it peek out the other end.
- If you don't have a funnel and you really don't want to hassle with filling each manicotti roll this way. You can simply trim the manicotti open, lay it flat and spoon a line of filling on it, then roll it up like a burrito or sushi roll. Take care when you serve them so they don't fall apart. Use a spatula.

images by Briana
recipe adapted from Our House To Yours cookbook
Pin It


Jaime Stephens said...

Yay Briana I was hoping you would put the details up on here! I am pinning this.. And I can't wait to make it.. Wish you were my neighboor sharing the goods :-). Thanks you rock!

Briana said...

Jamie- Oh, good! I'm gad you're pinning this. It is a goodie. Thanks for your sweet comment!

Haley and Lance (but probably just Haley) said...

Yum - this one deserves to be remembered. Also, I am dumb. I never think to pin recipes from here because I always just come to your site to look for stuff. Time to start pinning away!