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Home : Entrees : Pasta : Spinach Manicotti

Makes 8 Servings
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Spinach Manicotti

Contributed by: News Canada

Learn to cook heart healthier (NC) - Heart healthier cooking is easiest when you follow three basic principles. Whatever you are cooking, try to:

  1. Reduce fat, especially saturated fat.
    Spinach Manicotti
  2. Of the fat you do use, choose unsaturated fat.
  3. Boost your fibre intake.

With these principles in mind, try to use these heart healthier cooking methods when you prepare your family's meals:

  • Grill, barbecue, or roast meats and allow the fat to run off.

  • Try steaming foods instead of frying.

  • Braise meat in broth or tomato juice instead of frying it.

  • Refrigerate soups and stews overnight, and skim off any fat before serving.

  • Try to prepare foods without deep-frying.

  • Use non-stick frying pans or woks so you'll need very little added fat.

  • Remove all visible fat from meats, and the skin from poultry and fish (this will significantly reduce the saturated fat in your food).

And to ensure you reach for the right ingredients, have these helpful items in your pantry:

  • Brown rice, whole wheat pasta, bulgur, and couscous

  • Canned beans, chick peas, and lentils

  • Canned fruit (in light syrup or juice) and canned vegetables to make purées

  • Lower-fat mayonnaise-type dressing

  • Evaporated skim milk to substitute for cream

  • Vegetable oil, such as canola, sunflower, olive oil

  • Soft, non-hydrogenated margarine that is low in saturated fat

Visit and discover the recipes, information and inspiration you need to start living a heart-conscious lifestyle.

Rich & delicious manicotti can be calorie conscious.


  • 3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (175 mL)
  • 1 1/2 cups light ricotta cheese (375 mL)
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat cottage cheese (375 mL)
  • 1/4 cup grated fresh Romano cheese (50 mL)
  • 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning (2 mL)
  • 10 oz box frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry (300 g)
  • 1 egg white (1)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (1)
  • 8 oz box uncooked manicotti shells (240 g)
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 3 cups Ragu spaghetti sauce (750 mL)


Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).

In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the mozzarella with all of the ricotta, cottage cheese, Romano, Italian seasoning, spinach, egg white and garlic. Stir well and set aside. Meanwhile, cook manicotti according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; do not overcook. Drain and rinse under cold water.

Lightly coat a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 23 cm) baking dish with cooking spray. Place manicotti in baking dish, spoon cheese mixture evenly into cooked pasta, and top with tomato sauce. Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven 25 minutes.

Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup (50 mL) mozzarella cheese and bake 10 more minutes, or until cheese melts.

Nutrition tips, healthy advice and savoury recipes are available online at

Serving Size: Makes 8 Servings

Nutritional Information: Per Serving: 281 calories, 17.6 g protein, 33.5 g carbohydrate, 8.2 g fat, 3.5 g fibre, 675 mg sodium, 25 mg cholesterol, 319 mg calcium



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