Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Baked Manicotti, a.k.a Why My Pants Are Snug.

If your family is anything like my family, you are eating the same meals over and over.  You get into a rut of what everyone will eat and what doesn't take forever to make, and before you know it you've eaten the same meal four times in a month.

I can relate.

Try this recipe for Baked Manicotti.  It's delicious.  It is not low-fat.  It is pretty easy.  Give it a whirl.

You will need the following ingredients:
  • 12 manicotti shells, cooked and rinsed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese (I couldn't find the ricotta at one of the grocery stores in town, so I asked the manager where it was. He called me a 'fancy-pants'.)
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzerella cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup pesto sauce
  • 2 cups spaghetti sauce (my husband has a strong moral opposition to jar spaghetti sauce, so we make our own. He has a very refined palate, which is clear considering his addiction to Ho-Ho's.)

Mix all the cheeses, the beaten egg and the pesto in a bowl.  It smells yummy already.
Pour half of the spaghetti sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 pan.
If you have a pastry bag, scoop all of the cheese mixture into the bag to pipe into the manicotti. This 'fancy pants' uses a ziploc bag with a corner cut out of the bottom. That's how I roll.  Either way, pipe it into the manicotti shells.
Can you see that crazy blue vein in my hand? I don't know where that came from.  Clearly, I'm in need of a spa weekend.  That is the only explanation.  Anyhoo, you'll fill the manicotti with the cheese mixture and lay them ever so gently onto the sauce.  My pan won't fit the whole 12 shells.  And a box of manicotti has 14 shells.  I make all of them just in case some split during the cooking process.  And I still can only fit 9 in my pan.  Why don't I use two pans?  Or my ginormous lasagna pan which could hold all 12?  Because I never think of it.  I'm the Thrifty Crafty Girl, not the Thinky Crafty Girl.
Pretty manicottis, all in a row.

Pour the remaining sauce on top of the deliciousness.
Cover the whole thing with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes.  This recipe may seem complicated, but it is really quite simple.  Don't tell your family how easy it is though, let them think you really suffered to bring them this meal.
Look how yummy.  Try it.  You can thank me later.


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