spinach and garlic manicotti with red wine and thyme plum tomato sauce, originally uploaded by aarn! +10th November, 2008+.
simmered a diced sweet onion in a splash of canola oil until about half way to translucent, then added two or three cloves of crushed garlic, and three or four sprigs worth of fresh thyme, which had been removed from the stem and brutalized a bit, salt, and fresh cracked pepper. let the garlic and thyme cook until the garlic was tender, then added 3/4c. or so of some petite sirah that was left over from a few nights before, and let that cook down until it had reduced and was a little thick, then added a can of whole peeled plum tomatoes and a little water and let that cook down while the rest of the dish was prepared. after simmering for a bit, the chunks of tomatoes were crushed-up using a potato masher, leaving the sauce still quite chunky.
made the filling/binder by mixing a single egg with 1c. of cottage cheese, 1c. of shredded mozzarella, 1T. or so of raw crushed garlic, and salt and pepper.
made a pound or so of egg-heavy pasta dough (probably about 4c. of flour and 3 eggs, floured or watered until at the desired consistency), placed it in the refrigerator for 10-minutes or so (to make it easier to work with), then sliced and rolled it out into a few 8 to 10-inch rounds, about 1/8-inch thick. while rolled out on the floured cutting board, laid down a strip of the filling across each round, and a handful of raw baby spinach, rolled-up, and lined up in a bread pan, topped with the red wine and thyme sauce until all of the crevices were filled and about 1/2-inch covered the rolled up pasta, and then tossed the pans in a 400-degree oven for 20-minutes, plated, and topped with shredded mozzarella cheese.