Monday, April 12, 2010

Baked Manicotti

When I asked CJ what I should cook for the Project Runway group, he said "something pasta-ey". Then I remembered this baked manicotti recipe. I saw this technique in an episode of America's Test Kitchen. It's a simple idea that sort of makes me say "Why didn't I think of that?" And have I mentioned how yummy it is? The gang LOVED it! This isn't the EXACT ATK recipe, but it's how I make it and it's basically the same idea. It might seem a little tedious, but it's really not. It only takes a few minutes and you're good to go. Even a novice cook can do this.
Try it!

1 box Barilla no-boil lasagna noodles
1 lb. ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, plus more
1 large egg
1 tbs chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tbs chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
Joey's Marinara Sauce, or your favorite jarred sauce, or your own

Heat oven to 350F.
Fill a glass 9x13 baking dish with hot tap water. Place the dry noodles, one at a time into the water, making sure they're separated and completely submerged. Set aside for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, egg, salt, pepper, parsley and basil. Set aside.
When the noodles are soft and pliable, remove them from the water and place in a single layer on a clean towel on a flat surface to drain.
Discard water. Rinse and dry the baking dish. Spread the bottom of baking dish evenly with marinara sauce. Place a heaping tablespoon of the cheese mixture onto one end of each lasagna noodle. Roll each one into a tube shape and arrange in baking dish seam side down. Top evenly with more sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Cover manicotti with aluminum foil. Bake until bubbling, about 40 minutes, then remove foil. Sprinkle manicotti evenly with shredded mozzarella and more Parmesan. Place back in the oven for another 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Definitely use Barilla no bake noodles because they're exactly the correct size and they only take a few minutes to soften in water.
This is a great make-ahead recipe because you can assemble the pan of manicotti a day or so in advance, then cover it and leave it in the fridge until you're ready to bake it.
The original recipe calls for only Parmesan cheese on the top, but as far as I'm concerned it screams for mozzarella cheese too.
Am I right? Who's with me?!?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love rge manacatte