Filling: 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil ½ cup chopped onion 1½ cups whole-milk ricotta 1 large egg, beaten ¼ teaspoon sea salt ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 cup defrosted, packed, chopped spinach, well drained (from one 10-ounce package) ¼ cup basil, thinly sliced Shells: 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour pinch table salt 1 cup whole milk, room temperature 2 large eggs, beaten, room temperature 2 cups marinara sauce, divided, store-bought or home-made ½ cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
Nutritional information per 2 manicotti: Calories 375 (38% from fat) • carb. 37g • pro. 21g • fat 16g • sat. fat 8g • chol. 166mg • sod. 944mg • calc. 395mg • fiber 6g
Preheat oven to 350°F. Put the olive oil in an 8-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add the onion. Sauté until translucent and softened, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from pan to cool; reserve. Note: do not clean pan. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, salt, pepper, spinach and basil. Insert the mixing beaters into the Cuisinart® Hand Mixer. Mix on speeds 2 to 4 to fully combine. Add the cooled onions and mix until just combined. Reserve. Return the skillet to the burner and preheat over medium heat for 5 minutes. While pan is preheating, prepare the manicotti shell batter. Put the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Using the hand mixer fitted with the chef’s whisk, mix in the milk and eggs to the bowl, using speeds 1 to 5, until completely smooth. Add a scant ¼ cup of batter to the preheated pan. Working very quickly, move the batter around so it just coats the bottom. You want the pan to be coated thinly and evenly. If the batter seems too thick, then add an extra tablespoon of milk to the batter. After about 1½ to 2 minutes, or until the shell is set but NOT browned, remove the shell with the help of a heatproof spatula. Reserve on a plate. Continue with the remaining batter, layering wax paper or parchment in between each shell. Once all of the shells are prepared, assemble the manicotti. Spread 1 cup of the sauce on the bottom of a 13-x9-inch baking pan. Add a heaping ¼ cup of filling down the center of each shell. Fold over each side and lay on top of sauce in the pan. Repeat with remaining shells and filling. Spread remaining sauce over the top of the manicotti and top with the cheese. Place pan into preheated oven. Bake about 25 minutes, or until sauce is fully simmering and the internal temperature of the manicotti is 170°F.