As you can see I took these photos way before I knew anything about food photography or what Macro mode was, or even before I had an Iphone.
Definitely a rustic meal and rustic images to match, I hope you’ll enjoy it. This is real comfort food all the way, ricotta and spinach says it all. Just perfect for a rainy day like today, plus every day is a great day for some Italian ricotta and spinach manicotti !
The creaminess of the ricotta plus the combination of marinara and home made Alfredo sauce really takes this dish to a magical place. This is another simple peasant pasta dish, but the flavor profile is fit for a king. The ratio of ricotta and spinach , sauce and pasta, red sauce and creamy Alfredo, I have no doubt this will be the best manicotti you ever ate.
Ricotta and Spinach Manicotti
- 1 c fontina cheese -shredded
- 15 oz ricotta cheese whole milk
- 1/4 c parmigiano reggiano
- 8 Manicotti shells
- 1 egg –lightly beaten
- 3 handfuls baby spinach
- 4 cloves garlic -sliced
- 4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 3 c marinara sauce
- 1 c Alfredo sauce
- sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 dash of nutmeg -freshly grated
- In a large sauté pan heat up 2 tbs olive oil over medium flame. Add the garlic slices and cook for approx 2 min (just enough to release its flavors and get some color). Add the fresh spinach and sauté for about 3 min until wilted. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt and drain in a small colander.
- Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 3 tbs sea salt and cook the manicotti for 6 minutes. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
- In a mixing bowl, mix the ricotta, spinach, parmigiano reggiano and the egg. Season with a pinch of sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper and a dash of nutmeg then set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease the lasagna pan ( 9 x 13 inch ) with the remaining 1 tbs olive oil, making sure to get the sides too.
- Spread 1 1/2 c of the marinara sauce on the bottom of the pan, just enough to coat the entire surface like a blanket.
- Fill the manicotti shells with the cheese mixture and arrange them 1 inch apart. Sprinkle with 1 c of the fontina cheese and spoon 1 1/2 c of the marinara on top.
- Bake covered with aluminum foil for 25 min. Meanwhile work on the Alfredo sauce and spoon it over the top of the manicotti before serving or set on the table for self serving.