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Cheesy Pesto Stuffed Manicotti

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I have to say, I think this turned out as good as the stuffed manicotti that I usually have at one of favorite restaurants and it really was not difficult to prepare.

This new Calphalon pan was a huge help in draining the Manicotti before stuffing.  If you are in the market for a new pan, check this one out in the Amazon link below.

Using just an ordinary plastic Ziplock bag works great to get all of the ricotta stuffing into the manicotti shells.  I used a combination of ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and asiago cheese, but you can easily substitute your favorite cheeses. I like to use full fat ricotta cheese, I think it has so much more flavor.

Just layer the marinara sauce in the bottom, stuff the manicotti and lay them over the sauce.  Then add remaining marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese on top.

Just look at this delicious dish!  You really can’t go wrong with any kind of pasta stuffed or covered with cheese.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 8-ounce pkg Manicotti Shells
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese (full fat)
  • 1 cup Mozarella Cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese shredded
  • 1/4 cup asiago cheese, shredded
  • 2 teaspoons Prepared Pesto Sauce (I used Barilla)
  • 16 ounces Prepared Marinara Sauce

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Cook Manicotti shells according to package directions, but just shy of complete (about 7 minutes)

Meanwhile, mix the ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella, the parmesan cheese, asiago cheese and pesto sauce.

Spoon just enough of the marinara sauce into an oblong pan to cover the bottom.

Place the cheese mixture in a heavy duty ziplock baggie, cut one corner off of the bottom of the bag and gently pipe the cheese filling into the manicotti shells.

Place the stuffed manicotti on top of the marinara sauce, then cover the manicotti with the remaining marinara sauce and sprinkle the additional 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese on the top.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 25 minutes, removing the aluminum foil for the last 5 minutes of baking.

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