Today is my little sister-in-law Mags’ birthday and I promised her a pasta dish. Because I’m not around to make it for her in person, perhaps she can persuade Mrs. Nice to whip it up for a birthday treat. Her brother certainly enjoyed it. Happy birthday Mags!
The measurements for this are approximate, and I’m going to jump back and forth between metric and Imperial because I’m Canadian and I can.
Preheat your oven to 350°F.
Plop about 500g thawed frozen spinach in a bowl, together with 500g cottage cheese, 1/2 cup strong-flavoured cheese, grated (I used romano, but parmesan would also be good), and 2 teaspoons dried oregano.
Stir it silly and then season with pepper.
Take a jar of chunky tomato-based pasta sauce and spread 1/3 of it on the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.
Now take a package of uncooked manicotti shells (usually there are 14 shells in a box) and stuff them with the cottage cheese/spinach mixture. Lay them on top of the sauce in the dish.
This was my first one, which I tried to stuff with a spoon. I got a little too enthusiastic and it exploded everywhere. After that I used my fingers. And I’m still trying to figure out how to get the spinach out of my kitchen stereo speakers.
And then when I got to the end of my pan I found I had run out of space, so that’s why they are all spastic here. Plus I dropped in the leftover cottage cheese/spinach mix as well. Aesthetics are not really my strong suit.
Mix 1/2 cup water with the remainder of your pasta sauce and pour it over the top of the uncooked stuffed noodles.
Bake, uncovered, for an hour, until it is bubbling all the way through. Then sprinkle with 2 cups grated mozzarella and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
Let your lava-like pasta stand for a few minutes before serving. Not the most attractive photo, but that didn’t stop the Pie from going back for seconds.