Friday, July 8, 2011

Wild Mushroom & Spinach Manicotti with Arrabiata Sauce

Arrabiata or "angry" in Italian is named as such because of the heat from the chile peppers. My version is a more of a sweet heat, using carrots for sweetness and red pepper flakes for spice.

Morels, fresh spinach and yukons stuffed inside manicotti shells and baked with sweet and spicy arrabiata sauce.

Wild Mushroom & Spinach Manicotti

1 lb yukon golds, unpeeled, medium dice
8 manicotti tubes
3 tbl extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 shallot, minced
1 cup thinly sliced wild mushrooms ( I used morels)
1 celery stalk, small dice
salt and pepper
pinch fennel seeds
pinch nutmeg
3 garlic cloves, minced
5 oz baby spinach leaves
1/4 cup chardonnay
2 tbl nutritional yeast
1/2 cup roughly chopped, toasted walnuts
8 basil leaves, roughly torn
2 cups Arrabiata Sauce

Add the potatoes in a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes then add the manicotti tubes. Boil for 7 minutes more then drain. Separate the noodles from the potatoes. Put the potatoes back in the pot, mash with 1 tbl of oil and set aside. Rinse the noodles with a little bit of cold water to stop the cooking and cool down.
Heat 2 tbl of oil in a pan over medium-high heat and saute the shallots, mushrooms and celery. Don't season with salt until the mushrooms have crisped a bit. Once the shallots are translucent and the mushrooms have browned, season with salt and pepper, fennel seed, nutmeg and add the garlic. Toast for 3 minutes until fragrant. Add all of the spinach and chardonnay and continue cooking until the spinach has cooked down and all of the wine has evaporated. Remove from heat, toss in the nutritional yeast, walnuts, basil and season with salt and pepper. Add in the mashed potato and toss to combine.
Preheat the oven to 400. Spoon 1/4 cup of sauce into the bottom of a 8x8 baking dish.
Stuff the filling inside the manicotti noodles and pack tightly in the dish. Spoon 1 cup of sauce over the noodles, covering completely so the noodles don't burn. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve with the remaining sauce.

Arrabiata Sauce
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small red onion, small dice
1 carrot, small dice
1 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp organic cane sugar
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbl chopped fresh rosemary
2 tbl garlic, minced
1-28 oz can whole plum tomatoes

Heat the oil in a medium pot and saute the onions, carrots, red pepper flakes, sugar, pepper and salt for 7 minutes until the carrots start to become tender. Add the rosemary and garlic and toast for 3 minutes. Squish the tomatoes in your hands and into the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 25 minutes.
Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and season with salt if necessary.

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