Ricotta Cheese & Zucchini Manicotti

Ricotta Cheese & Zucchini Manicotti

????????Ricotta Cheese & Zucchini Manicotti

By now your garden might be bursting with zucchini and summer squash.  Here is a great family meal that will be loved by all.  I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love baked pastas for their fragrant, zesty sauces and gooey strings of melted cheese.  When you cook the manicotti shells, it’s important to undercook them slightly so they don’t become soft and mushy during the baking process.

INGREDIENTS

14 Manicotti Shells

2 Medium Shredded Zucchini

1 Minced Onion

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

15 Ounces Ricotta Cheese

1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

1 Cup Shredded Provolone Cheese

2 Large Eggs

5 Cups Marinara Sauce

2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil

Preheat your oven to 375° F.  Prepare the manicotti shells as the package instructs, but do not add salt to the water.  Drain the manicotti shells and set aside (do not rinse them).  In a large skillet add the olive oil and turn the heat to a medium high heat.  Add the shredded zucchini and minced onions.  Cook for 5 to 8 minutes until lightly browned and all of the liquid has evaporated.  Stir frequently.  Remove from the heat.  In a large size bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, shredded mozzarella and the shredded Provolone.  Add the eggs and mix well.  Stir in the zucchini mixture. Set aside.  Take 1 cup of the marinara sauce and set aside.  Pour the remaining 4 cups of the marinara sauce into the bottom of a 13”x9” glass baking dish.  Spread the marinara sauce in an even layer.  Spoon the ricotta filling into the cooked shells.  Arrange the shells in the baking dish, in the sauce in a single layer, making sure that the shells don’t touch the sides of the baking dish.  Spoon the reserved marinara sauce over the top of the filled manicotti shells.  Cover the baking dish with foil and place into the oven.  Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until the pasta is heated through and the sauce is bubbly.  Remember that every oven heats differently so be sure to check at 40 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.  Sprinkle the top with the chopped basil.  Serve with a garden salad and crusty Italian bread.  Serves 6

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