Spinach Manicotti in Creamy Tomato Sauce
Our fuss-free method for stuffing pasta shells turns this classic Italian dish into a weeknight option.
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 8 manicotti shells (from an 8-ounce package)
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 cup finely grated Parmesan (2 ounces)
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 package (10 ounces) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 2 cups prepared marinara sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta shells according to package instructions. Drain well and arrange in a single layer on an oiled rimmed baking sheet. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and lemon zest. Stir in spinach and season filling to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer filling to a large zip-top plastic bag. Twist and squeeze bag so filling is in one corner. With scissors, snip a 3/4-inch opening in corner. Pipe filling into both ends of each pasta shell. Arrange stuffed shells in an 8-inch square glass baking dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk together marinara sauce, oregano, and cream. Pour sauce evenly over stuffed shells and top with 1/2 cup Parmesan. Bake until sauce in center of dish is bubbling and Parmesan is browned in spots, about 30 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes before serving.