Saturday, June 07, 2014

Vegetable Cheese Stuffed Manicotti

This is a very tasty vegetarian pasta dish with a bit more elegance. It requires a few extra steps of preparation, much like making a lasagna. However, the effort is totally worth it. To shave off some preparation time, use a can or bottle of sauce and use a food processor to cut up the vegetables. This could also be prepared in advance and baked shortly before serving. Leftovers are excellent reheated. The amounts given for vegetables are only relative and may be varied - just not the vegetables cook down a lot and you barely even notice them in the cheesy filling! This should make enough filling for fourteen manicotti shells, but we have discovered that extra filling is delicious if baked in a ramekin. 
Vegetable Cheese Stuffed Manicotti
1 small can tomato sauce
14 manicotti shells, cooked and drained
1 teaspoon oil
1 medium shredded carrot (1/2 cup)
1/2 shredded zucchini (1/2 cup) 
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (one container)
1/2 small onion, chopped (1/4 cup)
2 cups cottage or ricotta cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Spoon a small amount of sauce into the bottom of a rectangular baking pan.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook the vegetables until tender-crisp. Stir in cottage cheese. Fill each manicotti shell with this mixture, then place in the baking dish. Spoon sauce over top and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350F for about 40 minutes until hot.  

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