Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Cheesy Manicotti w/ a Twist

Source: Kraft Food and Family

Prep Time:40 min
Total Time:1 hr 25 min
Makes:7 servings, two stuffed shells each
1 pkg. (8 oz.) sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 egg whites
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
1 container (15 oz.) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Reduced Fat Mozzarella Cheese, divided
1/3 cup KRAFT 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) manicotti shells (14 shells), cooked, drained
2 cups spaghetti sauce
PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Add mushrooms and garlic; cook 5 min. on medium heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Beat egg whites lightly in medium bowl. Add mushroom mixture, spinach, ricotta cheese and half each of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses; mix well. Spoon evenly into manicotti shells.
PLACE in 13x9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with spaghetti sauce.
BAKE 40 min. or until heated through. Top with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses; continue baking 5 min. or until mozzarella cheese is melted.

Of course you all know that we can't make a recipe without changing it up a little. We actually had every intention of following this one, then realized that we had no spaghetti sauce in the freezer at the last minute. Well, I don't like filling those manicotti shells, so we always use the large pasta shells. Oh, and we used a small can of mushrooms and already chopped up garlic from the jar, so we didn't have to cook them. Scott actually made these and he didn't want to fool with separating the eggs, so he just used two whole eggs. Now, here is the tricky part. We did not have spaghetti sauce, but we did have a small can of tomato sauce with basil, garlic, and oregano and a jar of 4 cheese alfredo sauce (so good). So, we poured both of those over our stuffed shells instead of spaghetti sauce. I am sure we doubled the fat content, but it was really good. Just make sure that if you are ever making manicotti if you don't follow any instructions, you follow this one: cover the dish with aluminum foil or the sauce will all dry out and your shells will be crunchy. That is not appetizing!

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