You hear it from everywhere – you should eat less meat. Maybe you know a vegetarian or a vegan, and wonder how they manage to survive without sinking their teeth into a juicy steak every now and then. Maybe you are trying to eat more vegetables and have instituted Meatless Mondays. Or maybe you like cheese. Either way, this recipe works for you.
1 package (10 shells) manicotti
1 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
1 package (12 ounces) frozen spinach
1 yellow or red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 egg, beaten
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup mozarella, shredded
salt and pepper
olive oil for sauteeing
2 cups of marinara sauce
Preheat the oven to 375F.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Place manicotti shells into the pot and let cook until al dente (per package instructions, about 10 mintues). While the shells cook, set up a bowl of ice water. Once ready, drain the shells and plunge them into the ice water to cool.
Heat up a table spoon of olive oil in a pan, then add onions and peppers and cook until onions are translucent. Add garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook for another minute or so. Remove from heat.
Defrost and drain the spinach.
Add spinach and ricotta to a bowl, then add onions and peppers, and parmesan, and mix. Add the beaten egg. Mix everything.
You are now ready to stuff the shells. Place about a cup of marinara sauce on the bottom of a glass ovenproof dish large enough to hold all the shells in a single layer. Carefully fill up each shell with the ricotta mixture and place into the dish. Cover with the remaining marinara sauce and top with mozarella cheese.
Place into the oven and bake until the mozarella is golden.
After stuffing the shells, I realized that I had too much of the cheese mixture for the number of shells that I’ve made. Instead of making more shells, I whisked the rest of the eggs in the container and made a quiche.
Place in the oven and cook until the the top is golden brown.