Stuffed Manicotti With Ricotta Cheese

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When you prepared your stuffed manicotti, try not to make it look this good or you won't want to eat it.

Another pasta dish with a multitude of variations, the template for stuffed manicotti consists of manicotti shells filled with cheese, onions, and garlic and baked with tomato sauce. We’re staying with that simple theme, but using Swiss and ricotta cheese in place of Parmesan. Or if you’re interested in a three cheese preparation, use all of them.

Although it may look complicated, this recipe really requires only about 30 minutes of preparation.

1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
15-ounce can Italian-flavor tomato sauce
8 manicotti shells
1 1/2 cups ricotta
2/3 cup grated Swiss cheese (optional)
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Dash nutmeg
Parmesan cheese for topping

Melt the butter in a saucepan, and saute the onion and garlic until soft but not brown. Place half the mixture in a mixing bowl, and set aside. To the remaining onion in saucepan, add tomato sauce, and set aside.

Cook the manicotti shells according to package directions; drain, and rinse with cold water. To the reserved onion and garlic, add the ricotta, Swiss cheese, parsley, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Mix well. Stuff the shells with the ricotta, using a teaspoon or iced-tea spoon. Place in a large baking dish, top with tomato sauce, and sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serves 4.

See Whey to Go: Eat Low Fat Ricotta Cheese and Yogurt Cheesefor more ricotta cheese recipes.