I have had a box of manicotti noodles in my breadbox(that i keep pasta in) since well before last Christmas. I never really got around to using them. Finally last week, I decided they had to be used up before they went bad, although with dry pasta that would probably be quite awhile.
I did an online search for manicotti, every recipe I found had either ricotta cheese or cottage cheese. I can not stand either. I noticed on Google I could check any ingredients I wanted or did not want, so I put a 'without' check next to those two ingredients and did another search. I found one recipe that did not take either cottage cheese nor ricotta cheese, but it took sour cream, something else I do not like the taste of. So finally I gave up and decided to create my own. And this is it, in a take out container because it is going to work with me for dinner.
The first thing I did was fry up a pound of hamburger. I drained it, wiped the pan and then added some green pepper and red onion. I cooked them for a couple minutes and added about 1/2 tsp pre-chopped garlic in a jar. I let it all cook together for half a minute and then added the hamburger back to the pan for another minute.
While I was doing this, i cooked the pasta as per the box directions. Boil a big pot of water, add a few noodles at a time, boil for 6 to 8 minutes. I boiled 5 at a time, there were 14 all together.
After my hamburger and veggies were cooked, I made my stuffing. I mixed the burger with a jar of sauce and, to fill it out, a can of tomato sauce and one of tomato paste. I also added 4 cheeses: A mozza-cheddar blend, some Parmesan and some Havarti with jalapeno.
Filling was messy fun. I had sauce everywhere. I filled a large pan and a small one. I sprinkled more of the four cheeses on top and baked them as per box instructions at 350 F. They were only in there about 20 minutes, i tested with a knife poke to be sure the pasta was tender.
After they cooled a bit, I divided it into containers of 3 noodles each, the leftover two I put on a plate for tomorrow's lunch. The dish I had for dinner was delicious and very filling! With all the cheese, it was a stringy mess; i think it would be a fun dish for kids. It also had just the right amount of kick with the jalapeno Havarti in it. I think i may end up making it again someday, sooner if it were not so messy.
So it has been a busy week so far, I had a great weekend just bopping around in the rain and sunshine. I meant to make this Saturday night, but the company I had coming for dinner is not a big pasta fan, so I made potato scallop instead. In my opinion it did not really turn out (I cooked it for to long and the milk had boiled off), but he cleaned 2 plates of it!
Hope everyone is having a good week!