Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Freezer Meal: Baked "Manicotti"

Our kids are STARVING for dinner by 5 p.m., and after racing home from work, I don't have time to really cook much before I have two fussy kids pulling at my legs wanting to EAT!

This is sort of a made up recipe and could be called either lasagna roll-ups or baked "manicotti." Either way it's a great meal to make ahead and freeze until you're ready for dinner. I also stored mine in one bigger and one smaller container so if I needed a quick dinner for the kids I wasn't breaking out a giant pan that would take us a week to finish.

Baked "Manicotti" - makes 10 "rolls"
2 jars of your favorite tomato or marinara sauce (or make your own!)
1 8 oz container of ricotta cheese
2 cups Parmesan cheese
1 bag shredded mozzarella cheese
2 TBL minced garlic (I used the pre-chopped kind in a jar)
2 large eggs
2 TBL fresh Italian parsley
10 lasagna noodles
Salt, pepper to taste

Boil your lasagna noodles according to the box directions. Meanwhile, while your noodles are cooking mix together eggs, all cheeses (except leave aside a 1/4 cup or so of mozz and parm to top your dish with), garlic and parsley. I didn't cook the garlic before throwing it in, but if you aren't a huge garlic fan you could saute it first. Add in a few "dashes" of salt and pepper. Mix well.

Gather your baking pans. I used a glass 8x8 pan and a glass bread pan. Pour a small amount of sauce into your pans to just cover the bottom.

Once your noodles are done, lay them flat on a dish towel. Spread your cheese across the cooked noodles. I just eyeballed the spoonfuls and it turned out fine. Roll each noodle with cheese filling into a nice little roll and place into your baking pan. Top with sauce and sprinkle your reserved cheese on top.

If you want to bake immediately, cover with foil and bake at 375 for about 40ish minutes or until hot and bubbly. Otherwise, if you want to freeze. cover with plastic wrap, then foil and place in the freezer. When ready to eat, remove from freezer and let thaw in the fridge for a day or so. Then remove the plastic wrap, re-cover in foil and bake, increasing the time by 15 minutes or so depending.

Note - you could also add meat to this. For something different, I've also made a garlic chicken pesto version of this, swapping pesto in place of the tomato sauce and adding shredded chicken in with the cheese.


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