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Main Dishes - Vegetarian Glenn's version
Pasta 12/1/1986

MANICOTTI

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Servings: 6

Comments:
This recipe was adapted from a similar one called Vegetarian Lasagne published by the Minneapolis Star and Tribune. In practice, we often combine ingredients or mix and match between these two recipes when we make either of them. The sauce can be varied to your taste or to what's fresh at the market.

Ingredients:
1 package manicotti shells (14)


Filling
1 package frozen spinach (10 ounce)
1 pound ricotta cheese
8 ounces mozzarella cheese
cup Parmesan cheese, divided
2 eggs, well-beaten (use one if you wish)
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped parsley to taste

Sauce
cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
cup celery, finely chopped
cup carrots, peeled and finely chopped
Fresh parsley chopped (to taste)
teaspoon (or more) dried basil (or use fresh if you can get it, to cup, chopped)
teaspoon crushed anise seed
Dash red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can (6 ounce) tomato paste
4 cups hot water
1 large can (35 ounce) Italian plum tomatoes

Directions:

Sauce
Saute onion, garlic, celery, and carrots, with red pepper flakes and anise seed, in olive oil until vegetables are tender. Add tomato paste and water. Stir until dissolved. Add parsley, basil, salt, and pepper. Add plum tomatoes, mashed. Over a high flame, bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover partially, and simmer for one hour or longer, adding liquid if necessary.

Meanwhile, cook manicotti about 6 minutes (less than time indicated on package) until still firm. Drain well. Combine filling ingredients, mixing well (most of the Parmesan may be added to the filling; save a small amount for the top).

Assembly
Gently fill each manicotti shell. Put a layer of sauce on the bottom of the baking pan. Place manicotti in pans with the overlapped side down, side by side, leaving a small amount of space between. Pour remainder of the sauce over the top, thoroughly covering the manicotti. Sprinkle with the remainder of the Parmesan cheese. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 for 25 to 30 minutes (may take longer). Serve with grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.

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