Spinach and Mushroom Manicotti

I love pasta and I LOVE cheese. Today, I made this spinach and mushroom manicotti with gorgonzola, mozzarella, and ricotta cheeses. The ricotta was fat-free, but still had a great texture that made the filling creamy. The mozzarella was subtle, but added body. The gorgonzola, though I didn't use much of it, gave the stuffing just the right amount of saltiness, nuttiness, and earthiness. You'll want to make this over and over.

Ingredients:

  • 8-10 pieces manicotti
  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach, drained
  • 2 medium portabello mushrooms, diced
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 2-3 slices part-skim fresh mozzarella, diced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomato-basil marinara sauce
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Prep:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta according to package instructions. In a skillet, add 1 tbsp olive oil and onions. After 2 minutes, add garlic, mushrooms, and spinach. Season with salt and pepper, cook until mushrooms are somewhat soft, and set aside. In another bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, and gorgonzola cheeses along with the cilantro and red chili powder. Add veggies to the cheese mixture. Drain cooked manicotti and stuff with veggie-cheese mixture. Spread tomato-basil marinara in the bottom of an oven proof dish and arrange stuffed manicotti on top of the marinara. Pour a little marinara sauce on top of the manicotti to keep them soft, and bake for 10 minutes. When you're ready to serve, sprinkle with a little shredded mozzarella and garnish with fresh cilantro.