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Manicotti stuffed with cheese and spinach and topped with a simple marinara will lift you out of winter’s doldrums.

Could there be a better time to warm up with some homemade pasta?

This cheesy, meatless recipe is a family favorite because it brings back so many great memories — and isn’t that the ultimate goal when we cook for others? It harkens both my much-loved Italian neighbor Josephine, who taught me how to make the light and airy crespelle that encase the lush filling, and also my husband, for whose surprise birthday party I first made the dish many years ago.

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