- 1 lb fresh spinach, stems trimmed and well washed or 1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed
- kosher salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
- 12 manicotti
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- 1 lb firm tofu, drain and crumble to resemble ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella Cheese (about 4 ounces)
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (or a mixture of half Pecorino and Parmesan)
- 1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
- fresh ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons unsalted butter, diced
- bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat, and season generously with salt.
- Fill a medium bowl with ice water and season with salt, as well.
- Boil the spinach, uncovered, until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Remove with a slotted spoon, (do not drain), and immediately plunge the spinach into the ice water.
- Drain and squeeze the excess water from the spinach, and finely chop.
- Alternatively, if using thawed spinach, simply squeeze, and finely chop.
- In the same large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta shells until al dente, tender but still slightly firm.
- Drain and pat dry.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cover the bottom of a 9- x 13-inch ovenproof baking dish with 1 cup of the marinara sauce.
- In a medium mixing bowl, evenly combine the tofu, mozzarella, and 1/3 cup of the Parmesan,and the spinach.
- Season with the 1/2 teaspoon salt, nutmeg, and pepper to taste.
- Spoon the Cheese mixture into the manicotti shell and line them up in the baking dish.
- Cover with the remaining sauce.
- Scatter the remaining Cheese on top and dot with the butter.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Serve immediately.