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I’m a dinner person. I like sitting at the table and enjoying time with family and friends. It is a wonderful way to end a day. My family can sit around the dinner table chatting for hours after we’ve finished, sometimes we laugh, sometimes we argue debate, but we’re together. Not sitting lifelessly in front of a television, which I think too many people do now a days. That might make me sound old, I’m really not an old lady I promise! However, I do believe we, as a society, have lost sight of the importance of the simple things in life. Our lives are so busy, with so many distractions, if we made the time to put down the iPhone, turn off the TV, and focus on the amazing people we share our lives we probably all be a lot happier and healthier – I know I would be.

Simple things in life could be a good book, a walk with a friend, a cuddle with the one you love, or good food. Food can be and should be simple. Yes, yes I know I’ve shared how I like the challenge of cooking, but sometimes a really good simple recipes is in order to remind us food is just the accompaniment and faces around the table should be the main focus. I was recently reminded of this after preparing and serving this simple stuffed Manicotti, hopefully it will do the same for you 🙂

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Boil water and cook 1 box of manicotti shells. Drain, cool, and set aside.
  3. Add olive oil and 1/2 medium onion to pan, sauté until onions are translucent. Add 3 cups chopped fresh spinach and sauté until spinach is completely wilted. Set on a plate to cool. Once cool chop in a food processor (optional).IMG_0545
  4. Cook 4 Italian sausage (casting removed) in fry pan, break apart as they cook.IMG_0549
  5. Combine 1 1/2 cup of ricotta, 1/2 grated parmesan in a large mixing bowl. Add cooked sausage, and onion/spinach mixture.
  6. In a baking dish lightly cover bottom with tomato sauce. Stuff manicotti shells with mixture and set into baking dish. IMG_0551
  7. Top stuffed shells with 1 can of diced tomatoes and grated parmesan. Bake for 35-45 mins.


I served this simple dish with a green salad. It was very tasty! I used low fat ricotta, had I used regular it would have been creamier. In saying that it reheated very well, making for excellent lunches this week. The stuffing mixture could be easily altered to suit your taste and preference.

Perhaps this simple dish will get you a thank you too..


Beautiful flowers from T.