July 14, 2008

You asked for it and here it is.
The very first vegetarian recipe.

makes 4 meals for a small family, 2 for a large family or potluck

2 pkgs. manicotti noodles
1 (32 oz.) container of cottage cheese*
1 (32 oz.) container of ricotta cheese*
32 oz. part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 eggs
2 tsp minced garlic (or 2 minced cloves)
large handful chopped fresh parsley
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil leaves or 2 T. dried
8 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained (optional)
2 tsp. salt
2 jars canned pasta sauce

large pot
4, 8x8" square aluminum disposable pans or 2 9x13" disposable pans
gallon size ziplock bag
aluminum foil
sharpie permanent marker

Assembly Instructions:
- Boil manicotti noodles in large pot of boiling, salted water for 5 minutes.
- Remove from pot and place on silpat lined (or oiled) baking sheet to cool.

- Combine cottage cheese and ricotta cheese*.
- add herbs, salt, garlic, eggs and frozen spinach (if desired). Stir thoroughly to combine.

- Add 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese. Stir to combine.

- Next you'll need a large ziplock bag and a pair of kitchen shears or clean scissors. Fill freezer bag with filling mixture. Seal top and cut small edge from bottom corner. This has now become like a large piping bag.

- Spread 1/4 c sauce in bottom of pan (so noddles don't stick while baking).

- Take manicotti tubes one at a time, hold noodle in one hand, place clipped edge of ziplock into the top of the noodle. Apply slight pressure to the ziplock to fill noodle with filling mixture.

- Lay in close together, but not crowded, in a row in baking sheet. Repeat until pan is filled with one layer of filled manicotti.

- Spread a layer of jarred sauce on noodles.

- Top with 2 cups grated mozzarella.

- Take piece of foil large enough to cover pan. Write Manicotti and the baking instructions. Label with a red sticker to indicate that this item should be thawed before baking for best results. Repeat until all other pans are completed.

Baking Instructions:
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until cheese is browned and sauce is bubbling. Sprinkle top with fresh cut parsley is desired.

Serving Suggestions:
- Serve with rustic bread and a side salad.

*Alright...let's talk soft cheese for a minute. I have always disliked the texture of straight ricotta cheese. I find it kind of pastey. Also, it's kind of pricey. Some people I know (including my mom) substitute with cottage cheese, but we all know that leaves your filling with no flavor or cheesy goodness. My solution is to mix the two 50/50. This is not only more affordable, but it makes a creamier filling.


Marfa July 21, 2008  

Yum! The photos aren't working (maybe it's just something going on with Photobucket today?)
Thank you so much!!!

Jaime Wilkins September 22, 2008  

DE-LISH! I recently made a batch, after enjoying my own, for some friends who took care of our house while we were on vacation. They loved it too!

Anonymous,  November 12, 2009  

this was the first recipe I tried from your site several months ago and it was a HUGE hit. We gave two of them away and the people raved about it!

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A new recipe will be posted each Monday and, of course, you can always search the archives by category.

The Goal of this blog is not just to give you my recipes, but to teach you which ingredients freeze well, which don't, methods and tips to help you freeze your own recipes...because who knows better what your family likes than you?

Do you only cook organic? Great! Are you a vegetarian? No problem! Make what works for you and save time, money and (let's be honest...stress) while doing it.

The Freeze Happy philosophy has made my life better and I'm pretty sure it can improve yours too.

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