Easy Baked Manicotti

J made this recipe from Kraft for dinner earlier this week. We were surprised at the flavor and how filling it was!

Easy Baked Manicotti by Aurora Meyer on aurorameyer.com

Easy Baked Manicotti

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups spaghetti sauce divided
  • 1-3/4 cups Ricotta Cheese we used part skim
  • 1-1/2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/4 cup pesto we used store-bought in a jar
  • 12 manicotti shells cooked, rinsed in cold water

Instructions
 

  • Spread 3/4 cup sauce onto bottom of a 13×9-inch baking dish. Mix cheeses, egg and pesto until well blended; spoon into a resealable plastic bag. Use scissors to cut a small corner from the bottom of the bag. Fill manicotti shells by squeezing cheese mixture into both sides of each shell; place in baking dish. Top with remaining sauce; cover (we used tin foil). Bake 40 min. or until heated through.

Notes

This dish was flavorful and delicious. We actually used a whole jar of pasta sauce because we like the sauce and two cups seemed so little. J had some trouble filling the manicotti and said he broke a few, but if he hadn’t said anything I would never have noticed. Super easy weeknight meal. We ended up freezing half of the manicotti for an even faster weeknight meal in the future.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

J’s Lasagna

Homemade Lasagna with meat sauce by Dispatches from the Castle

I’ll be truthful, I prefer simple, clean flavors. I don’t like meat in pasta sauce and I’m not in love with Ricotta cheese. After years of eating my family’s version of lasagna, J couldn’t take it anymore. He had to make his own.

Homemade Lasagna with meat sauce by Dispatches from the Castle

J’s Lasagna

Homemade Lasagna with meat sauce by Dispatches from the Castle

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 14 1/2 ounce cans whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
  • 2 6 ounce cans tomato paste
  • 24 ounces cottage cheese or 24 ounces ricotta cheese we used half and half to appease me
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb mozzarella cheese divided
  • 12 -15 lasagna noodles

Instructions
 

  • Brown ground beef, onion and garlic. Add salt and next 5 ingredients; stirring until well mixed. Simmer 1 hour. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside. Combine cottage cheese, eggs, pepper, Parmesan cheese and 1/2 of mozzarella cheese; In a lasagna pan, layer noodles, meat sauce, and cheese mixture; repeat. Top off with layer of noodles; sprinkle evenly with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until cheese mixture is thoroughly melted.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

My Opinion:
I’m not 100 percent sure J followed this recipe exactly, but if he didn’t he followed it pretty close. He modified it from this Food.com recipe. All in all, it was pretty good. I would let him make it again. It was a bit light on the cheese, which is the part of the lasagna I like most. We’ll fix that. I’m sure over time, we can find a good blend of my version of lasagna and his version.

Don’t forget! #cookchat this Thursday, January 20 at noon! Hope to see you there!