Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- 1/2 Tablespoon oil
- 1 cup chopped white mushrooms
- 1/2 container (about 8 ounce) ricotta cheese
- 1 cup spinach, fresh or frozen, chopped
- 1/2 onion, minced
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend or mozzarella
- 1/2 cup Parmesan
- 1 cup marinara sauce* (I used homemade marinara sauce)
- Salt to taste (no added salt until 1)
- 1 package manicotti shells
For saucier version double all the ingredients for the cheese mixture.
Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C degree).
Cook the shells in a salted water for 7 minutes, until al dente.
Add oil to a pan, cook onions and mushrooms for about 5 minutes.
In a large bowl combine ricotta, spinach, onion, egg, 1 cup Italian cheese blend/Mozzarella, mushrooms and 1/4 cup Parmesan.
Spread 1/2 cup of Marinara sauce on the bottom of 9×13 inch baking dish. Stuff cooked manicotti shells with cheese mixture and arrange in a single layer. Cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining Italian cheese/Mozzarella and Parmesan. You can make ahead and refrigerate the dish overnight before cooking. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. It also freezes very well.
Tightly cover manicotti with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until Parmesan is golden.
For the Marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup canned whole tomatoes or cut up fresh tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoons tomato sauce
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon Oregano, or more to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt to taste
In a small pot add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and spices. I used potato masher to make the sauce more homogeneous. Simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.