Spinach Ricotta Manicotti Bites
These elegant bites will be the talk of the town at your next gathering. Each bite is a perfect balance of creamy ricotta, tomatoes and fresh basil.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 10 oz fresh spinach, roughly chopped, packed
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 lb ricotta cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, more for garnish
- 1 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped, more for garnish
- salt, add to taste
- pepper, add to taste
- Cook manicotti according to package directions; drain and transfer quickly to a bowl of cold water to stop their cooking.
- Drain well. Cut the shells in half and lay them back in the packaging trays. This will help them hold their shape and prevent them from sticking to each other, while prepping the rest of the ingredients.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When oil begins to shimmer, add garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until leaves begin to wilt but are still bright green, about 3 to 4 minutes. Spinach should be reduced by half. Remove from heat and let cool.
- In a medium sized bowl, combine the spinach, ricotta cheese, egg, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper and mix with a spoon until combined well.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
- In a 9” pie plate (23 cm) spread all of the sauce over the bottom of pan and set aside.
- Using a spoon, stuff each manicotti with approximately 2 tsp (10 ml) each of the filling mixture. Arrange stuffed manicotti in the baking dish, standing, with cut side down.
- Drizzle with 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes and let stand for a few minutes before serving.
- To serve, spoon out 1-2 tsp of sauce into each serving spoon or small serving dish. Place the manicotti bite over the sauce. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan and chopped basil. Drizzle more sauce over manicotti as desired.