Monday, July 19, 2010

Easy Meatless Manicotti

I was not raised on Lasagne. There, I said it...the farthest we ventured into the land of Italian food was spaghetti with meat sauce.  I never really understood this, it didn't seem like a difficult meal, but, as I've said, my mother wasn't much of a cook and my father had his "set" meals that he made.  I always enjoyed lasagne at friends' houses or pot luck dinners, so once I was married, I made my first lasagne.  Well, I've been married 18 years and I don't think I have made more than 5 lasagnes in my life.  The reasons are many but the MAIN reason is that, making a good lasagne takes a lot of pots and pans, a lot of time and it is a mess. You have to make the sauce, make the filling and cook the pasta before you can even begin to assemble the dish! You also have to bake it for quite a while.

Well, over the years I have been searching for a "lasagne alternative". While my husband likes lasagne, neither of my kids has ever been thrilled with it so I basically stopped making it.  I have two "lasagne alternatives" I like, this is the most recent find and it is a huge success with everyone in my house, including the cook! This recipe uses one bowl and the baking pan(not a lot of clean up), jar sauce (or homemade), you DON'T precook the pasta and it is ready in just over an hour! This recipe comes from

Easy Meatless Manicotti

Please use link to access the recipe...

A few notes about the recipe

1. Each time I have made this, I have filled 18 manicotti, buy two boxes so you have enough.
2. I use my homemade sauce (see Stocking the Freezer blog) which is on the watery side so I cut the added water to 1/2 c.
3. Do allow the pan to rest at least 10 minutes, otherwise the dish is watery.
4. Barilla manicotti shells have larger end openings than DaVinci so they are easier to fill.
5. Use a pastry bag or plastic bag with the corner cut off to squeeze the cheese mixture into the shells, it makes this process quick and easy.

This recipe makes a large pan of manicotti.  While I haven't frozen it yet, I wouldn't hesitate to make the full recipe, cook it and then freeze the leftovers for a later time.

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