Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cheese Manicotti

8 oz manicotti, uncooked (14 pieces)
15 oz ricotta cheese
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
1 egg
8 oz Mozzarella cheese or Italian cheese blend, finely shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp basil
2 Tbsp parsley

on hand: your family's favorite spaghetti sauce for cooking day

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil manicotti approximately 4 minutes. Drain. Spread manicotti on a sheet of waxed paper so they don't stick together.

Mix the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Stuff manicotti with the cheese mixture. A pastry bag makes easy work of piping the mixture into the shells, but a spoon works just fine, as well.

Flash freeze the stuffed manicotti on a waxed paper lined cookie sheet, making sure they are not touching. Once frozen, transfer to a zip top bag for storage.

HINT: Don't throw away the plastic trays the manicotti were packaged in. You can place the frozen stuffed manicotti back in the trays, wrap well with aluminum foil and package in a zip top bag. Works great for protecting your manicotti in the freezer!

On cooking day, spoon some pasta sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Lay manicotti in a single layer on top. Spoon more pasta sauce over top, being sure to cover manicotti completely. Top with more cheese if desired. Bake at 350 until cooked completely. You can cook the manicotti from frozen, but it will take longer. Make sure the center of the manicotti is hot!

VARIATION: Once your family is used to this version, try substituting a little chopped spinach (from frozen, thawed and drained) for the parsley. They'll never notice you changed "the green stuff."

Nutritional information from SparkPeople Recipes is per piece of stuffed manicotti, but without added tomato sauce or optional additional cheese.

Servings Per Recipe: 14
Amount Per Serving
  • Calories: 135.7
  • Total Fat: 3.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 37.6 mg
  • Sodium: 234.9 mg
  • Total Carbs: 15.7 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g
  • Protein: 9.9 g

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