I've wanted to make manicotti for a long time! To be honest, I've had it at restaurants and always thought it was a bit boring/I could make it a whole lot better at home! Guess what?! You can, and it really doesn't have to be a huge PITA! ;) This is based on a recipe from Cooking Light which uses uncooked manicotti.
I made two versions of it for dinner on Friday night - one meatless for myself and one with a filling similar to the sausage stuffed shells that DH likes. This one is the vegetarian version; meaty version coming soon! Believe it or not, this is fairly low-fat (original recipe had 9 grams - mine was probably right around there).
1/8 part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup fat-free cottage cheese
1/4 cup spinach (I used frozen spinach that I thawed - I originally put 1/2 cup in my manicotti but I have decided that I was a bit too much so I've cut it back to 1/4 cup)
1/16 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/8 tsp. dried oregano
Sprinkle of red pepper flakes
1 tsp. dried parsley
A little salt and black pepper
1 small clove of garlic, minced
2 manicotti shells
Marinara sauce (I used home-made red wine marinara)
1/4 cup water
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine the mozzarella, cottage cheese, spinach, Parmesan, oregano, parsley, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Spoon the cheese mixture into the uncooked manicotti shells.
3. Pour some marinara sauce into a baking dish. Arrange the stuffed pasta shells in a single layer over the sauce. Top the shells with the remaining sauce. Pour 1/4 cup water into the dish. Sprinkle a little additional mozzarella over the sauce. Cover the dish tightly with foil.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until the manicotti shells are tender. Let the pasta dish sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Based on the Easy Meatless Manicotti recipe from Cooking Light magazine (May 2005 issue).
I really didn't make many changes - I just added the parsley and red pepper flakes. Everything else remained unchanged.