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Manicotti a la Teems

Serves 6 at $5.45 per serving

Manicotti:

1 box manicotti noodles

1 lb Whole Milk (or skim) Ricotta Cheese

2 c. Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (divided)

1 Egg

2 Cloves Garlic (minced)

1/2 tsp Garlic Powder 

1 lb Frozen Spinach (drained thoroughly)

Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Sauce: 

14.5 oz Canned Tomato Sauce

1 tsp. garlic paste

2 tbsp. Dried Oregano

1 Bay Leaf

1 tbsp. dried basil

Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Prepare noodles to package specifications for al dente. Drain and set aside to cool. In a saucepan, add sauce ingredients, mix, bring to a slight simmer, and then turn to low (stirring occasionally). 

Thaw frozen spinach, and once it's cool enough to handle, squeeze every drop of moisture you can out of that stuff! Once it's bone-dry, throw it in a bowl. Add the rest of the manicotti ingredients (minus noodles, and using only half of the mozzarella) to the bowl and combine well. Once combined toss it all in a gallon zip-top bag with one corner cut out. Use the bag like you would a piping bag to deliver the cheese inside of the noodles. Pipe in one side, then the other to fill. Place a small amount of the sauce in the bottom of a baking dish of your choice, and line the filled noodles inside. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover the noodles with the rest of the sauce, and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven, cover with the remaining mozzarella cheese, and return to the oven until the cheese is bubbly and golden.