This recipe is easy, delicious and another family winner dinner. It is always nice to have an easy weeknight dinner, and this qualifies. I found it in the Kraft Magazine a few years ago, back when they used to send them out for free. Those were good days. You can still find the recipe online here - along with their other recipes. This recipe introduced me to the joys of pesto – yummmmmm.
12 cooked manicotti shells, rinsed in cold water
2 cups spaghetti sauce, divided
1-3/4 c. Ricotta cheese
1-1/2 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c. pesto
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you haven’t done it yet, cook your manicotti shells according to the directions on the box. Rinse in cold water. Set aside.
Step 2: Line the bottom of a 13×9 baking pan with foil. Spread 3/4 c. spaghetti sauce in the bottom of the pan.
Step 3: Mix cheeses, egg and pesto in a bowl. Move your mixture into a resealable bag. Clip one of the corners of the bag off. Our favorite pesto is Classico’s Traditional Basil Pesto. I’m sure any pesto would be great, though.
Step 4: Fill your manicotti shells by squeezing some of the cheese mixture into EACH side of the manicotti shells. Place the shells in a baking dish and cover with the remaining spaghetti sauce. Cover. If some of your shells have split open in the cooking process, just lay them in your dish, squeeze some of the cheese mixture into the shell, fold it closed, and pretend like everything is okay. :)
Step 5: Bake for 40 min. or until heated through.
There ya go! Sorry for the ugly picture….I think we had some ravenous children so I took one quickly and served them up. At any rate, this is very tasty, and actually, kind of fun to do. I normally end up with 8-9 filled manicotti shells – I think I am a little extra generous with my cheese filling. If you want more filled shells at the end, just watch how much you fill – you won’t want to stuff them completely.