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Cheese-Stuffed Manicotti Recipe


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Cheese-Stuffed Manicotti Recipe

Cheese Filling

1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese (1/2 inch diced)

2 pounds ricotta cheese

1/4 pound prosciutto, 1/4 inch diced

2 eggs

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley

manicotti shells

3 cups tomato sauce (meat or marinara)

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

TO MAKE FILLING: combine all the filling ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Heat 4 to 6 quarts of salted water to a boil in a large pot; add 2 tablespoons oil to help prevent pasta from sticking.

Add half of the manicotti and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until not quite al dente. Stir occasionally with a long-handled fork.

Hold a strainer over the pot and use a slotted spoon to remove 1 or 2 manicotti at a time from the boiling water, placing them in the strainer. Shake manicotti free of water. Spread a clean kitchen towel on the counter. Place the manicotti side by side on the towel, which will absorb all the remaining moisture. (The shells must be completely dry before stuffing.) Repeat until all shells are cooked. Cool.

Generously butter a baking dish, 13 x 9 inches. Fill each shell with some of the stuffing, letting a little of the stuffing come out on either end. This is best done with a pastry tube and a large nozzle; otherwise use a regular teaspoon.

Lay the stuffed manicotti side by side in the buttered dish and surround them with any manicotti shells you may not have sufficient stuffing for. Pour half the tomato sauce over the shells and sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.

Bake in a preheated moderate oven for 15-20 minutes. Heat remaining tomato sauce to serve separately. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese.

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