Manicotti Florentine is a great tasting Italian dish that is surprisingly easy to make. In fact, if you would like to have a great tasting main course in just over an hour, then this is the dish for you. One word of caution though, it can be a little messy to make. Enjoy!
- 8 Manicotti pasta tubes
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 Cup mushrooms (chopped)
- 1/4 Cup onion (chopped)
- 2 Garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 1/2 Cups spinach (freshly chopped)
- 1 Egg white
- 3/4 Cup Asiago cheese (grated)
- 2 Cups tomato sauce
- Basil (to taste)
- Salt (to taste)
- Pepper (to taste)
- Parsley (freshly chopped, optional)
- Cook the pasta. Prepare and cook the manicotti according to the manufacturer's directions. Drain, and then set aside the pasta when finished to allow it to cool. Be careful when cooking the manicotti tubes that you do not accidentally tear or damage them in anyway.
- Preheat oven. Set the temperature of your oven to 375 degrees and allow it to start heating up.
- Prepare stuffing. Using a large skillet, heat some olive oil over medium-high heat, and begin preparing the manicotti stuffing. Start by sauteing the mushrooms, onions and garlic for two minutes. Add your spinach, and continue to saute until the spinach begins to have a wilted appearance. Remove from heat, and allow everything to cool slightly (from hot, to very warm) Stir in the egg white, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Continue stirring the mixture until it has as even and creamy of a consistency as possible.
- Fill pasta. Fill a sealable sandwich bag with the stuffing, and then cut one corner of the bag. This will serve as a disposable pastry bag, which will make filling the stuffing a whole lot easier. Pick up one of the pasta tubes and begin to fill the interior with the stuffing mix. Simply squeeze the bag and the stuffing should squirt out into the interior of the shell, though it may take a little practice to get right.
- Prepare pan. Place one cup of the tomato or marinara sauce on the bottom of an 11 inch by 7 inch by 2 inch baking pan. Spread the sauce around evenly on the bottom of the pan. Place each of the stuffed manicotti tubes into this prepared pan, and then top with the remaining sauce.
- Bake pasta. Cover the pan with either a lid or with some tinfoil, and then place into the oven. Bake the past for 30 to 35 minutes before removing. When finished, garnish with parsley if you desire.
Once you have pulled the pasta out of the oven, go ahead and serve it. Manicotti Florentine is best served hot, but you may want to let it cool for a little bit so that you do not burn the mouths of anyone who eats it. This recipe will serve up to eight people if they only get one tube of Manicotti apiece. The recipe is easily adjusted for more people. All you need to do is double the ingredients (for up to 16 servings) and then store any leftovers.
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