Manicotti stuffed with crabmeat, cheese and spinach, then topped with a creamy tomato sauce.
12 manicotti shells, uncooked
1-1/2 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 tbsp flour
1-1/2 cups milk
1 can (19oz) diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
10 oz crabmeat (or imitation crab), chopped
1-1/2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg white
Prepare manicotti according to package directions, undercooking slightly. Drain and rise with cold water, then set aside.
Melt butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Mix flour and milk together until smooth, then add to garlic. Continue to cook, stirring often, until sauce is thick and bubbly, about 7 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. When cheese has melted, remove from heat.
For the stuffing, combine crab, cottage cheese, spinach and remaining cheese, parmesan cheese, and egg white in a large bowl. Mix well.
Spray a 13 x 9′ baking dish with non-stick spray. Spoon filling into manicotti shells. Place stuffed shells into the baking dish in a single layer, then pour sauce evenly over top. Cover and bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool uncovered for 5 minutes.
I asked Cole what he thought about this one and he said he liked it..a little bit. Well, that’s better than not at all I suppose. The rest of us I liked it too; it was a very nice pasta dish. I do want to play around with this recipe a little more though. I think that it would be good with crushed tomatoes in the sauce instead of diced tomatoes, or even to leave the tomatoes out altogether. The tomato chunks just didn’t quite work that well with the creamy sauce. Also, if I was short on time I might make it with different pasta, like penne. I like manicotti but it’s a pain to stuff when you’re in a rush. I’d like to try thowing everything in one dish and see what happens. Overall it was a successful meal and I feel it has a lot of potential to be even better.
-Recipe adapted from ‘Manicotti Overboard’ in Looneyspoons