Baking is more my thing than preparing meals. I’m someone who thinks it’s a normal occurrence to set things on fire while preparing dinner (how is it possible to time multiple dishes without flames?)
The other night I had my husband’s family over for the evening. This is always a tad stressful because my mother-in-law is an Italian Domestic Goddess. In order to avoid my usual kitchen blunders, I decided to make a tried and true, no-fail recipe: spinach manicotti. My childhood friend and I have been making this dish since we were 11, when we had our inaugural (and entirely random) “manicotti night sleepover”. It’s no-fail I tell you, 11 year olds can do it!
I paired the dish with my father-in-law’s (no-fail) tomato salad. Mmmm…
What You’ll Need & What You’ll Do
Cook and drain 1 package of manicotti, set aside to cool.
In a bowl, mix the following ingredients until well blended:
1 package of chopped, frozen spinach (thawed)
500 g of ricotta cheese
2 tsp. of dried oregano
1/3 cup of parmesan
salt and pepper, to taste
Once blended use a small spoon to stuff shells with the mixed filling.
Sauce & Topping:
Use 1 regular size jar of your favourite store-bought pasta sauce (or your own sauce if you’re feeling energetic!). Spread one third of it in the bottom of a 9″ by 11″ pan. Place the stuffed manicotti shells in the pan side by side. Spread the remaining sauce on top and cover with 4 cups of shredded mozarella cheese. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes.
For the tomato salad:
Dice 3 to 4 medium sized tomatoes and place in a salad bowl.
In separate bowl, combine 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tablespoon diced garlic, and 2 teaspoons of oregano. Drizzle over tomatoes and toss until well blended.