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
- 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
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.
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.
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
- 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
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.
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!