Spend some time in the kitchen with the whole family and put together this delicate yet comforting Spinach, Mushroom and Ricotta Cheese Manicotti Skillet. The kids will have a blast stuffing the shells (although if they are anything like mine, prepare for some mess)!
It’s no secret that we love cooking as a family around here. It doesn’t happen as often as we would like, because hey, life get’s busy and Daddy works a lot! But when we do we make something together we make something a little bit more involved than usual, and then we sit down and enjoy it as a family. It makes for really lovely quality time outside of the usual movie and pizza night. I bet you will be surprised at how freely the conversation and laughter flows once everyone lets loose.
For us, it all started on the first New Year’s Day my husband and I spent together a million years ago. We decided to make wonton soup from scratch – including the dumplings and the dumpling wrappers. That was a big undertaking for someone like me, who had never even tried wonton soup before 😛 but it started an enduring tradition that we really cherish. And one that we will try to keep going for as long as possible.
For the most part I like to make my own tomato sauce from scratch (and you can find a recipe here), BUT sometimes getting (and keeping) everyone in the kitchen can be an effort in and of itself, so shortcuts are definitely allowed. Especially when little ones are involved. In this case I invested in some Ragu Homestyle Sauce to speed the process up a bit. They have been around for 80 years now, and I remember my mom using the sauces when I was growing up…there’s definitely something to be said for nostalgia!
This way, everyone can be involved in stuffing the manicotti shells, and the Ragu sauce can just be poured over the top when everything is ready. This is my four year olds favorite part, now that she is strong enough to hold a whole glass jar, bless her cotton socks. She worked on those ‘muscles’ for a long time to gain the honor 🙂
Do you like cooking as a family? I would love to hear about some of the great meals you put together, so be sure to leave a comment.
Spend some time in the kitchen with the family and whip up this big bowl of comforting Spinach Mushroom and Ricotta Cheese Manicotti. It is super easy and packs such a delicious flavor punch everyone will be coming back for seconds.
- 1 box Manicotti shells
- 1 Jar Ragu Homestyle Sauce (or homemade)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups baby portobello mushrooms, chopped (4 cups chopped, not whole)
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
- 1 cup pecorino cheese, grated and divided into two
Preheat oven to 400F
Cook pasta according to the directions on the box. If you are using fresh pasta, it does not need to be pre-cooked
Heat olive oil in a skillet over a medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until it becomes aromatic, but has not browned. Add in the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned
Add in the baby spinach and cook until wilted. This should only take a minute or two.
Mix the ricotta with the chopped parsley and thyme. Once the mushrooms are browned add them to the ricotta mixture, along with half of the pecorino. Season with salt and pepper and stir well to combine
Stuff the manicotti tubes with the mushroom and ricotta mixture (see notes for a tip)
In the same skillet you used for cooking the mushrooms, add half of the Ragu Homestyle Sauce.
Arrange the manicotti on top of the sauce, and then top that with the remaining sauce and the rest of the pecorino.
Cover with aluminium foil and pop into the oven for 30 minutes.
Serve and enjoy
Tip: use a ziploc bag to easily stuff the tubes. Pop the ricotta mixture into the bag, snip off one corner and squeeze the mixture into the tubes.