Manicotti, my way.
Well basically "my way" is 90% of the way it says on the back of the Manicotti box- Has anyone other than me noticed how ridiculously expensive Ricotta cheese has gotten? Unless I get it at a wholesale store I'm spending almost $4 on a little container...sooo...the other day when I decided that this would be dinner soon, I happened upon a "3 for $5" sale on cottage cheese (true italians might want to leave the blog at this point)- So how did I make this meal? This meal that my husband is taking for lunch tomorrow (it's a win when that happens)... Oven at 350 Cook the manicotti noodles in boiling water for about 7 minutes-take them out-they should still be VERY al dente (they'll continue cooking in the oven) pour cold water over them to cool them off. Filling: 1 container of small curd cottage cheese (I dumped this into a strainer to get excess liquid out of it) 2 eggs 1 package of frozen chopped spinach (thawed and squeeze the water out of it) 1 package of slice baby bella mushrooms 1/4 cup roasted red peppers 1 T chopped garlic Saute mushrooms and garlic in a tablespoon or so of olive oil for about 5 minutes-set aside to cool. At this point I pulled out the food processor- I ran the cottage cheese and eggs through then put them in a big bowl- I added the "wrung out" spinach to that as well- I didn't dice my mushrooms before saute, so I put those and the roasted red peppers for just a couple pulses in the food pro and added that to the cheese mix. Oh yeah, you'll need a jar of spaghetti sauce too... I put about 1/2 cup of the spaghetti sauce in the bottom of my pan, then with a spoon (and a mess) I filled the cooled manicotti noodles with the cheese mix- (in the box there were 14 noodles...I only made 7-one tray-it was just enough for the two of us for dinner and for his lunch tomorrow) Top it with the rest of the jar of spaghetti sauce- I dusted it with about a tablespoon of parmesean cheese and then about 1/3 cup shredded mozzerella. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. I had filling leftover that I'm planning on doing a round two recipe with later this week. I really liked this dinner, and so did the husband. You don't miss the meat at all! I guess between "meat" flavored spaghetti sauce and the meaty bella mushrooms it makes it. The roasted reds give it just enough color and flavor that I would definately keep them in this recipe. How cool do I feel eating a vegetarian dinner too huh?