Ricotta and Cottage Cheese-Stuffed Spinach-Artichoke Manicotti Recipe
There are a thousand ways to stuff a piece of pasta—from three-cheese ravioli to a meaty, saucy tower of lasagna—but the one common denominator is a deluge of calories and an abundance of sodium. To deliver the creature comforts of red-sauce Italian food, we keep the cheesy stuffing, but to make it something you can feel good about eating in this manicotti recipe: We use low-fat ricotta and cottage cheese cut with plenty of sautéed spinach and artichoke hearts. You won't lose out on taste with this meal, just on calories. Dig in!
Nutrition: 450 calories, 11 g fat (4 g saturated), 810 mg sodium
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jar (6oz) marinated artichoke hearts
1 bag (10 oz) frozen spinach, thawed
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 small onion, minced
1⁄2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
12 manicotti tubes
1⁄2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
1⁄4 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan
1⁄2 cup shredded mozzarella
How to Make It
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Heat half the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat.
- Add one-third of the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, until soft and light brown.
- Add the artichoke hearts and spinach.
- Cook for about 3 minutes, until the vegetables are warmed through.
- Drain any water that collects in the bottom of the pan.
- Season with salt and black pepper.
- Heat the remaining olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the remaining garlic, the onions, and red pepper flakes and cook for about 3 minutes, until the onion is soft.
- Add the tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- While the sauce simmers, cook the manicotti in a large pot of boiling water for about 7 minutes, until soft but short of al dente. Drain.
- Combine the artichoke-spinach mixture with the ricotta, cottage cheese, and parmesan.
- Use a small spoon to carefully stuff each manicotti with the cheese mixture.
- Spoon half of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a 13" x 9" baking dish.
- Top with the manicotti, then cover with the remaining sauce.
- Sprinkle the mozzarella all over.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling.
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