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Author Notes: Today we're cooking an old favorite of ours manicotti shells stuffed with leeks, spinach, cheeses and other goodies and baked in Marinara Sauce with Parmesan cheese on top. A very satisfying vegetarian dish with really great flavor. Get the recipe @
http://tomandanitamorgan.blogspot.com/2013/02/stuffed-manicotti-verde.html —Tom and Anita Morgan
- 14 manicotti shells, 1 box
- 26 ounces jar of high quality Marinara Sauce
- 2 1/2 cups leeks, chopped small, both white and green sections. 2 or 3 leeks depending on size.
- 3 tablespoons fresh garlic, chopped fine
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped small
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1-2 pinches of red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons hot water
- 12 ounces fresh baby spinach, chopped small
- 1/2 cup low fat mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 3/4 cup low fat Ricotta cheese
- 1. Pour the olive oil Into a 5 ½ quart Dutch oven and sauté the leeks and red pepper flakes, covered, over medium low heat stirring occasionally until the leeks start to soften; about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for two more minutes. 2. Reduce the heat to low, add the spinach, hot water and basil and cook covered for about 5 more minutes or until the spinach softens. Stir occasionally. Uncover and cook a few more minutes on medium heat to evaporate moisture from mixture. Pour off any remaining liquid. 3. Turn off the heat and add the mozzarella, one half of the Parmesan, ricotta and nutmeg to the vegetable mixture stirring until thoroughly mixed. 4. Cook the manicotti shells in oiled and salted boiling water until al dente. About 7 to 9 minutes. Drain well when cooked being careful not to tear the shells which are delicate. 5. Lightly oil an 11” by 16” baking dish and spread about 1/3 of the Marinara Sauce on the bottom. 6. Stuff each manicotti shell with the cheese and vegetable mixture and lay it carefully in the baking dish. 7. Spoon the remaining Marinara sauce over the manicotti shells. Then spoon the other half of the grated Parmesan on top. 8.Bake in a 350*F oven for thirty minutes or until the top starts to brown lightly.