MANICOTTI WITH SUN DRIED TOMATOES & SPINACH
1 package Manicotti 8 oz., cooked according to box directions (add salt and olive oil to water)
4 C ricotta cheese
2 C shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 T chopped fresh parsley
1/2 C chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1 C wilted fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 jars Marinara sauce (26 oz. each)
Cook pasta according to package directions, usually cooks in 7 minutes. (Add 1 T salt and 1 T olive oil to water). Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish or two smaller ones (I prefer two, and then I freeze one). In large bowl, stir ricotta, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, eggs, parsley, sun dried tomatoes-chopped finely, wilted spinach-chopped (you can wilt in microwave for 45 sec.), salt & pepper: mix well.
When pasta is cooked, lay out on foil separately, so that it won’t stick, let cool slightly.
Fill a large plastic bag with cheese mixture, cut a med. hole on one corner of the bag and pipe the cheese filling into each of the manicotti’s. If the hole is to small, make it larger. It should pipe out easy. Fill one side to the middle, turn the manicotti around and fill from the other side.
Put a small layer of sauce on the bottom of your baking dish. Lay out the manicotti in a single layer. Cover the manicotti with sauce, then top with 1/2 C mozzarella and 1/4 C Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Use the extra sauce to add more sauce when serving if your prefer more! Top with cheese if you like. (Serves 6-8)