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Tonight for dinner I made...yes, <em>another</em> pasta dish. I can`t get enough of them. I`m fairly certain in a past life I had to have been Italian...lol! We eat a pasta, I`d say, at least once per week. They`re so good, though!
On Saturday night I suddenly got a craving for stuffed shells but had already done by weeks grocery shopping earlier in the day. However, I figured on Sunday (today) I`d just run up to the store and grab the few things I needed. I did that, but the thing about the store around the corner is that it isn`t my usual grocery store, rather, a small grocery for the town (which also is small) and doesn`t carry a lot of stuff. I typically drive about 20 minutes to a Kroger to get my groceries. Obviously I didn`t want to do that for just a few items, though. They didn`t have any large pasta shells, but they did have a single brand of manicotti pasta. I decided that would do the job just as well as the pasta shells.
The filling, this time around, was just a cheese mixture. I mixed up some ricotta cheese (which I was very surprised to find in this small town grocery), shredded mozzarella cheese, a bit of parmesan cheese (that I grated myself), an egg, some salt, pepper, and dried Italian herb blend. I boiled my pasta, drained them, and laid them out to cool for a moment. Then I filled them with the cheese mixture. OH, and the bottom of the pan was first covered with a thin coat of pasta sauce to keep the manicotti from sticking. OVER the stuffed pasta I poured more pasta sauce and then grated more parmesan and finally sliced up some chunks of parmesan into thin strips and laid them randomly over the top of everything. I covered the pan with foil and put it into a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes, removed, took off the cover and put it back in for another 15 minutes.
It was absolutely delicious. This is extremely similar, ingredient wise, to what I use for my lasagna. It was quite too put together, not any trouble at all, and very satisfying.
<Strong>--PHOTOS ARE MY OWN! YOU MAY NOT USE!</Strong>