Thursday, November 12, 2009

Spinach Sausage and Cheese Manicotti

This is a favorite recipe of mine and I'm surprised that it took so long for me to share it with you all!  I'm sorry that you have been so deprived!  This is the first time that I made it with homemade sauce (the Marinara Magnifica)...soooooo much better than jarred sauce!!!  Since the manicotti cooks in the sauce, it's very important that you the sauce that it's prepared in.  It's an easy meal to make ahead and then refrigerate.  When you get home from work, pop it in the oven and you've got yourself a hot homemade meal.  Leftovers freeze well, too!  I served this with some steamed brocolli (lightly seasoned with a bit of olive oil butter and seasoning salt) and some Minestrone Soup that I made previously and had frozen the leftovers.  Mary Lynn said that the dinner tasted like Olive Garden...bless her kind words.  Mangia!

Spinach Sausage and Cheese Manicotti
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour 5 minutes
Serves 6

  • 1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
  • 1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry 
  • 1/2 lb. ground italian sausage
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup onions, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp dry parsley
  • 1 tsp dry basil
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 2 cups shredded italian cheese, divided
  • 2 (26 oz) jars spaghetti sauce (or about 5-6 cups of homemade sauce)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 (8 oz) package manicotti shells
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large skillet over medium high heat, brown italian sausage with minced garlic and red pepper flakes.  Drain grease and return to pan.  Set aside to cool.
  3. In a large bowl, combine ricotta, spinach, onion and egg. Season with parsley, basil, pepper, garlic powder, and onion  powder. Add cooled sausage mixture.  Mix in 1 1/4 cup cheese.
  4. In a separate bowl, stir together spaghetti sauce and water.
  5. Spread 1 cup sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  6. Using a flatware teaspoon or piping bag, stuff uncooked manicotti shells with ricotta mixture, and arrange in a single layer in the dish. Cover with remaining sauce. (If preparing in advance, cover with foil and refrigerate.  Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking or go straight from fridge to oven but add additional baking time.)
  7. Bake uncovered in preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until noodles are soft and sauce is bubbly.  Top with remaining cheese during last 15 minutes of baking time.
Source: Modified from All Recipes


tsallinger said...

I just made this tonight. It is wonderful! I didn't change a single thing in the recipe. Thanks!

Christine @ Christine's Kitchen Chronicles said...

Thanks for commenting and glad you enjoyed it, tsallinger! This is a favorite of mine, too.

Anonymous said...

This sounds SO tasty.
I can't wait to try it!