It is going to be cooler at the cottage this weekend, so we can cook in the oven.
That means I can do another food blog. *gets all excited*
So what to have. oh, I have an idea. I love this. And it is easy to make.
Cannelloni or Manicotti
Basically the same, one is larger of course. The Manicotti. So how does that change the dish? With the larger one I feel you are tasting the stuffing more, with the Cannelloni more the sauce.
There are so many ways to make this.
This one is a tad decadent though. ok, a lot decadent.
You need a big casserole dish and some ingredients. oh wait, you want to know what they are don’t you. sheish. Now I have to think again.
Alright, go get some garlic, the tubes of pasta (which every you decided on), oh, and be sure they are ones that you don’t need to boil first, they cook in the sauce. hmmm, this isn’t working, because now you will want to know how much… *throws my arms in the air in defeat*
So, we need a title.. one to make you salivate with uncontrolled desire..
Stuffed Manicotti.. hmmm, not enough
Manicotti stuffed with, ricotta, spinach and with a bacon mushroom Alfredo sauce…
Wait that is too long too. Oh well.. plods on anyway
1 package of manicotti or cannelloni tubes
fresh or 8 oz pack of frozen spinach. I like baby spinach best, chop it very fine. about a cup pressed down firm
1 (big tub of ricotta cheese or cottage cheese. I like either.
1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese grated.
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
Italian Seasoning, you can buy it in a mixed pack, or use oregano and basil
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
salt and pepper
bacon, about 8 to 10 slices. fry it and then blot it on a paper towel to absorb all the grease. Chop it fine.
1 to 2 cups of mushrooms of your choice, slice them don’t dice them
5 to 6 tablespoons of butter
3 cups of heavy cream
1 1/2 cups of Parmesan Cheese
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg (nutmeg is a secret ingredient that everyone will taste but not know what it is, it enhances dishes nicely)
1 to 2 cups of grated mozzarella cheese
1 cup panko bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 350, put the garlic bulb (yes all of it) in a little oven proof dish to roast it. I usually cut the top off it and sprinkle with some olive oil.
Lets start with the sauce, after you cook the bacon and set it aside on a paper towel to blot up the grease, then toss the mushrooms in the fat and cook them until tender, then remove and blot the grease from them as well.
Melt the butter over a LOW heat, remember high is for boiling water.. that is it.
Stir in the heavy cream and the rest of the ingredients, stir until melted. Remove the roasted garlic from the bulb, chop it up and add it to the sauce with the mushrooms and chopped bacon (oh, chop it up so it is fine) and put aside.
Now for the stuffing. It is really easy so don’t worry.
You can cook the spinach, if using frozen, follow the directions on the package. For fresh, I don’t cook it, baby spinach cooks so quickly, it will cook in the pasta, you can blanch it if you wish. Be sure to dry it if you do.
Mix all the filling ingredients in a bowl, start with the eggs so they are mixed well.
Get a freezer bag and put all the filling ingredients into it, seal it up with no air in the bag. Put your pasta in the casserole dish, lay it out so it covers the dish. Now you know how many tubes you need, take them out and put half your sauce in the dish.
Cut the corner off the bottom of the freezer bag, not too big, not too small. But smaller than your pasta is. Pick up a tube and put the open corner of the bag into the opening, squeeze it gently like tooth paste. It will fill the tube. Easy isn’t it?
Lay the stuffed tube in the dish on the sauce and get the next one, keep doing it until they are filled. If you have extra filling or noodles.. oh well, adjust next time. lol Or make more in another dish. If you make too much, it freezes well.
Poor the rest of the sauce over the tubes
Now for fun you can add some chopped green or red peppers, red is better with the Alfredo sauce I think. If you do, cook them in a pan just a bit to make them tender. Or roast them first and remove the skin.
Take the mozzarella cheese and sprinkle it over the top now, The bread panko bread crumbs as well.
Bake it at 350 for 30 minutes, test to see if the pasta is cooked, if not cook longer. not much though. A couple of minutes on broil will crisp up the top if you want, but be careful, don’t burn it.