Sunday, September 13, 2009

Baked Manicotti - Nikki Ogden

Tomato Sauce
1 28-ounce can petite diced tomatoes (in juice)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1.5 teaspoons)
1 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

Cheese Filling and Pasta
2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1large egg , lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
16 Barilla no-boil lasagna noodles

To Prepare Noodles: Pour 1 inch boiling water into 13 by 9-inch broilersafe baking dish, then add noodles one at a time. Let noodles soak until pliable, about 5 minutes, separating noodles with tip of sharp knife to prevent sticking. Remove noodles from water and place in single layer on clean kitchen towels; discard water in baking dish and dry baking dish.

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat oil and garlic in large saucepan over medium heat until fragrant but not brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and 1/2 tsp salt and simmer until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes.
Stir in basil. Combine ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, egg, salt, pepper, and herbs in medium bowl; set aside. Spread bottom of baking dish evenly with 1 1/2 cups sauce.
Using soupspoon, spread 1/4 cup cheese mixture evenly onto bottom three-quarters of each noodle (with short side facing you), leaving top quarter of noodle exposed. Roll into tube shape and arrange in baking dish seam side down. Top evenly with remaining sauce, making certain that pasta is completely covered. (I then sprinkle motzzarella cheese on top of the manicotti)
Cover manicotti with aluminum foil. Bake until bubbling, about 40-45 minutes. Cool 15 minutes, then serve.

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