Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Spinach and Ricotta Manicotti

Manicotti are basically just large cannelloni. While hard to get in the UK, you can use rolled up lasagna sheets as a good replacement.

Ingredients:

  • 450g ricotta cheese
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small tin of tomato puree
  • 1 large tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 400g fresh lasagna sheets
  • 225g fresh spinach
  • 225g fresh rocket
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 350g grated mozzarella cheese
  • 120g finely grated parmesan cheese

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.
  2. Put several sheets of kitchen paper on a baking tray and spread the ricotta out over it.
  3. Fry the onion in the olive oil in a sauce pan for 5 minutes, or until it starts to soften.
  4. Add the tomato puree and chopped tomatoes and reduce to a simmer. Leave this simmering with a lid on while you do the rest of the preparation.
  5. Put on a large pot of water to boil and salt it well.
  6. When the pot is boiling, slide the sheets of lasana into it, count to 30, and then remove them with tongs in the same order you added them.
  7. Spread the sheets out on many plates and or baking trays so that they don't stick together.
  8. Blanch the spinach and rocket in the pasta water for 20 seconds. Drain immediately, rinse with cold water and then spin dry in a salad spinner.
  9. Finely chop the dried spinach and rocket, add to a bowl with the egg, garlic, and half of both of the cheeses.
  10. Scrape the cheese off the kitchen towel into the same bowl as the spinach.
  11. Season well with salt and pepper and mix the contents of the bowl until it's all uniform.
  12. Put half the tomato sauce into the bottom of a large, high sided, oven proof dish.
  13. Take each sheet of lasagna, spoon two tablespoons of the spinach and ricotta mix into the middle.
  14. Roll up and place into the oven proof dish on top of the tomato mixture.
  15. Repeat for the remaining sheets (or until you run out of filling).
  16. Spread the rest of the tomato mixture over the top of the pasta and then top with the remaining cheese.
  17. Cover the dish with foil.
  18. If needed, you can leave this in the fridge for a day or two until you need to serve it.
  19. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, remove the foil and then bake for another 15 minutes.
  20. Remove from the oven and leave for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 4 people.

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