Mani-can-you?

The question of the day is mani-can-you? Mani-can-you handle homemade tomato sauce and tubes of noodles stuffed with cheese and spinach? The correct answer is why, yes, I can. Do you like manicotti?  I certainly always have except they can be a pain in the tush to stuff with that delectable cheese until that pesky problem was solved with not pre-cooking the manicotti and using a piping bag.
Also do you know how easy it is to make your own sauce, well I'm glad you asked that question because I will show you. 

First, you have to make the pasta sauce for the manicotti. To make the sauce you need: 1 large can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes, 1 can (28oz.) crushed tomatoes, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 3 medium garlic cloves, chopped, 2 teaspoons dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon salt,1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flake (optional). In a heavy-bottom pot, add the olive oil and throw in the chopped garlic and red pepper flake, if using. 

Heat these ingredients together until fragrant and add in both cans of tomatoes and dried basil. Simmer until thickened, about 12 to 15 minutes. 

For the manicotti, you need 10 ounces of frozen chopped spinach, 8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese, 15 oz. ricotta cheese, 4 oz. cream cheese, 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese, 2 large eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, 3 to 4 cups marinara sauce (use sauce from above recipe), 1 box manicotti noodles (12-14 noodles), 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese, for topping. 

In your dish 9X13, pour in 1 1/2 cup marinara sauce in the bottom of the dish. In a large bowl, combine the thawed out, squeezed spinach, eggs, mozzarella cheese, ricotta cheese and cream cheese. Add in the 1/2 cup of Parmesan or Romano cheese along with the salt and pepper and stir, stir, stir. 






In a piping bag, fill it with the cheese mixture then you are ready to stuff the manicotti noodles. 
*if you don't have a piping bag, you can use a gallon plastic bag and snipe the corner of it off to pipe the cheese into the noodles. 
If you put the pipping down with the tip down into a tall glass, fold the edges of the bag over the rim of the glass, it will make it easier for you to add the cheese filling into the piping bag.


Pipe the cheese filling into the noodles on both sides and then place them into the marinara sauce in the dish. 


Continue this process until all the noodles have been filled. 

After the noodles are filled, add 2 1/2 cup of sauce over the noodles then sprinkle with the other 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese then bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. 

Cover the dish with foil before placing in the oven. After 50 minutes of cooking, remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes. 

If you don't want to bake the manicotti the day you make it, you can cover it with foil and refrigerator until ready to bake. Then serve with some bread, a nice salad and enjoy and then should out mangia too!

30 comments:

*LO* said...

this LOOKS DELICIOUS. I know what i'm making for dinner this weekend!!!

REBrown said...

This looks so good - I'm so lazy I never make stuff like this.

Mellissa Rondinelli said...

Looks yummy! Thanks for sharing!

Shia
World According to Shia

TheTinyHeart said...

YUM! Italian food is my fav and this looks delicious!

-Sharon
The Tiny Heart
January Group Giveaway!

Sarah said...

Wow, that looks amazingly good! I wish I could eat cheese like no other right about now!

The Unlikely Runner said...

These look delicious! I love the idea of putting the piping bag in a cup...that's brilliant! I definitely am pinning this one!

Meghan said...

that looks really good, meg! can't wait to try it myself!

Krista said...

Oooh, I'd like to try that sauce!

emi said...

YUM! need to make this now.
xo

Leah said...

so yummy! i could totally go for pasta right now!

Richelle Lynn Garn said...

Oh my GOSH! Those look so great. I totally need to find a vegan way to make these. I have missed really good Manicotti since I discovered my allergies. Thanks for sharing this.

lynnandlou.blogspot.com

Rachel said...

This looks SO good!!! Yummy I want to make this!

Val said...

These look absolutely scrumptious.

Annie said...

Yum! This looks delish!

Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

Delicious! I've always wanted to try this but I feel like filling the pasta shells would be hard?

Amanda* said...

Oh my GOODNESS! That looks so good. And also hard. Nice work :)

McKenna Ryan said...

This looks so delicious!! I have never made them before but they do look so yummy. xx. McKenna Lou
www.lynnandlou.blogspot.com

The Egg said...

ummmm #NOM!!!

xo the egg out west.

Regina of Live Delightfully said...

That looks yummy!! I'll have to add that to my list of post-diet foods. :)

Jennifer said...

Goodness gracious! This looks absolutely delicious!!!!!! My boyfriend's mother has been wanting me to show off my cooking skills for her...I love to cook...but she is super picky and I just want to impress her! Scared she won't like something! I have been looking around for the perfect recipe...and this one is definitely in the top recipes I'm considering! So thanks so much for sharing!!

-Jennifer
www.kermit-and-piggy.blogspot.com

Nike Onile said...

Oh wow! I do not have the patients to do all that! Plus I like the quite grab and go... I never prepare when it comes to cooking! You seriously rock!

-Nike O.

Becky {This Is Happiness} said...

This looks so yummy!

He.She.&Eloise.... in the city said...

Wow!! That's awesome. You rock! Fun to find your blog.

Taylor {CoverGirl + Converse} said...

Oh my goodness, this looks SO SO good. THanks for sharing, I will have to make this in the near future for sure! :)
xoxo
CoverGirl + Converse

Treasure Tromp said...

looks delicious, as always. You always make me so hungry!!

Jennifer @ Delightfully Noted said...

You stole my Italian heart with this one!! Yum yum!

Sarah and Stewart said...

That looks so delicious... but a lot of work! Good for you!

Michelle {lovely little things} said...

Honestly, I'm never been a manicotti fan, I don't really like lasagna much either....I know, I'm weird. Plan old spaghetti with bolongese or Giada's lemon spaghetti, that's my pasta cryptonite!

Lindsey said...

Manicotti is my favorite meal to bring to new Moms, its is a bit of work but everyone loves it and its easy to double to feed two families. I'll try this recipe next time, thanks!

Girls Love Fried Pickles said...

I once made homemade marinara that took all frickin' day. Italian people really need to figure out how to sum it up in 15 minutes or less.