manicotti with mushrooms, spinach, and ricotta.

May 24, 2013 § Leave a comment

When searching for the perfect mother’s day dinner to cook for my mom, dad, and sister, I kept coming back to this Bev Cooks recipe for chicken, spinach, and mushroom manicotti.  I decided to give it a shot, opting to substitute more greens and mushrooms in place of the ground chicken.

This might be one of the tastiest dishes I’ve ever made.  The sauce is simple and rich.  And I love any dish in which mushrooms are the main event.

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Manicotti doesn’t smile pretty for the camera, but just take my word for it.

What you need:

  • one box of manicotti tubes
  • two 8 oz. containers of baby bella mushrooms, washed and finely chopped
  • several large handfuls of baby spinach
  • three or four cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup of ricotta cheese (i used low-fat)
  • two tablespoons of fresh parsley
  • two 14.5 ounce containers of diced tomatoes

What to do:

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Cook the manicotti according to package directions.  Be extra careful when draining the tubes, as they will be very delicate and prone to tearing.  Let them cool while you prepare the filling.

In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil.  Saute the chopped mushrooms for 3-4 minutes before adding the minced garlic.  Let the mix continue to saute for several minutes, then begin to stir in the fresh spinach.  It will begin to wilt after 2-3 minutes.

Add the mushroom and spinach mixture to a big bowl with the ricotta cheese and parsley.  Fold in the cheese.

Now you need your sauce!  Empty the can of tomatoes into a blender or food processor and pulse into smooth.  Then, pour the mixture into a saucepan.  Gradually stir in the cream.  Let the mixture simmer on low heat.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Time for the fun! Spread a half cup of the sauce over the bottom of your glass baking dish.  Carefully spoon the mushroom/spinach/cheese mixture into each tube of manicotti.  Then pour the remainder of the sauce on top.  Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Dish will be very hot – let it cool for a couple of minutes before serving.

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