Monday, August 4, 2008
We decided to reinstate our meatless Monday night tradition. We started this at the beginning of the year but it seemed to fade away when our schedules got busy. Then it turned into just eating whatever was in the fridge or pantry. For a while I was so busy with work that we had take out almost everyday of the week. Now things have calmed down a little and I've actually had time to grocery shop and cook homemade meals. Tonight I made Manicotti. This was the first time I've ever made Manicotti. I was planning to follow the recipe on the back of the package of noodles but the brand I bought didn't have a recipe so I made it up as I went along.
1 pkg Manicotti noodles
1 pint ricotta cheese
8 oz frozen spinach, thawed and excess liquid removed
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
salt & pepper to taste
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 cube chicken bullion (or 1/2 cup chicken broth and omit 1/2 cup water)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup flour
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
Bring a large pot of water (seasoned with salt) to a boil. Add manicotti shells and boil for 10 minutes. Drain water and set shells aside to cool.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepan. Add garlic and brown garlic in the butter. Remove pan from heat. Add milk, flour, and chicken bullion. Stir until dissolved. Place pan over low heat and stir until slightly thickened. Add spaghetti sauce and continue to simmer over low heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix together spinach, eggs, ricotta, 1/3 cup Parmesan, salt and pepper. In a baking dish (9x13 inch pan or casserole dish), cover the bottom with 1/2 of the spaghetti sauce mixture. Fill the cooked manicotti shells with the spinach/ricotta mixture. Place filled shells in the baking dish, in a single layer. Top shells with the remaining spaghetti sauce mixture. Top
the dish with 1/3 cup Parmesan. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and serve topped with the remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan.