Lasagna or Manicotti with Spinach Filling
Note: Adapted from Peter Christian's Recipes, Shirley Edes and Julia Philipson, and Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook. This recipe will stuff about 14 shells (about 5" long and 1" wide), with some leftover. You can use oven ready, no-boil lasagna noodles, but it will need to bake covered for about 50 minutes. Better Homes and Gardens recipe uses roasted sweet peppers in the filling. Spaghetti Sauce from our leftover spaghetti dinner is used. It must be diluted with water and, if necessary, some rehydrated dried tomatoes.
4 cps spaghetti sauce
12-16 manicotti noodles, raw, not cooked
mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced for topping
parmesan cheese for topping
For the filling:
1 lb cottage cheese or ricotta (drained)
1/2 cp mozzarella cheese, grated
1/4 cp Parmesan cheese
1 box frozen spinach, cooked, squeezed dry, and chopped (1 cp fresh cooked)
1 t dried basil, crushed
1/2 t dried oregano, crushed
dash pepper and nutmeg
dash salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cp onion, chopped
1/2 cp mushrooms, chopped
1. Saute garlic, onions, and mushrooms till browned. Set aside.
2. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
2. For the manicotti, stuff with filling. Spread about 1/3 of spaghetti sauce in 9" x 12" baking dish and arrange stuffed manicotti. Cover with remaining sauce and bake covered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Uncover, top with thin slices of mozzarella cheese, and bake till cheese is melted, about 5-10 minutes.
3. For lasagna, spread about 1/2 of the sauce on the bottom of the baking dish. Layer with noodles, filling mixture, and some sauce. It should make about 4 layers. End with noodles and some sauce. Sprinkle top with cheeses.
4. Bake covered at 375 for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake about 10 minutes more.