Valentine's Day less than two weeks away and I have to say I'm dreading the occasion. I've always felt it was one of those holidays we could really do without because it's always felt so forced. I mean, do we really need a holiday reminding us to tell our loved ones that we love them?
I may not be the kind of girl who wants flowers and chocolate for Valentine's Day, but deep down inside I'm a romantic at heart. I love to surprise my husband with what I've always called random days, where I stumble across something I know he'll love and give him a random gift or cook his favorite dinner out of the blue. I just like seeing the smile it brings to his face. And if random day happens to coincide with a rough week at work or a bad day, then that's even better.
I think a lot of people forget that we don't need a holiday or special occasion to give gift or plan a romantic dinner for those we love.
If you're looking to plan a romantic dinner for two, for Valentine's Day, or just because these manicotti make the perfect main course. Just pair it with a loaf of Italian bread, a salad with home made dressing, or Garlic ParmesanGreen Beans and you've got a meal that will please even the pickiest of eaters.
Do you have anything special planned for Valentine's Day, or do you prefer to pretend the holiday doesn't exist?
makes 3 - 4 servings
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups fresh spinach
16 ounces ricotta cheese
½ cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese, grated
9 Manicotti Noodles
32oz Pasta Sauce (I use Mids Garlic and Onion)
4 ounces fresh mozzarella, shredded
- In a food processor add minced garlic and fresh spinach, pulse until finely chopped, then combine with ricotta and parmigiano-reggiano cheese.
- Place cheese mixture in a disposable icing bag or zip lock bag, cut the tip off, then pipe the filling into the manicotti noodles.
- Place filled noodles in a 7 x 11 inch glass baking dish, cover with sauce, and refrigerate overnight to soften the noodles. If you don't plan on making this dish in advance you'll need to boil the manicotti noodles for 4 - 6 minutes, then allow them to cool before stuffing with cheese.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Top manicotti with shredded mozzarella, then bake for 30 - 40 minutes.