Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Anna Sultana’s Manicotti with Cheese Filling, Maltese Style

I got an e mail asking if there was a Vegetarian version.
Yes, indeed, there is.
Ma referred to it as her easier-on-the-budget version.
But it’s still really, really good.

I had posted Carmela’s recipe for manicotti a while ago.
Try them all and give your family and friends some variety. 

Ma usually served a pasta dish to make the main dish go further when the family gathered for a holiday meal.
With a vegetable side dish, it could be the main dish.
Just saying.


If you already have shredded mozzarella in the fridge you can use that instead.

New at stuffing tubes?  
It’s easier to cram a bit in from each end.
You can either use a spoon, or place the filling in a plastic bag.  
Using scissors, cut a corner from the bottom of the bag. 
Fill by squeezing the filling mixture into both ends of each tube.

You can also prepare stuffed manicotti in advance and freeze.
If you're in a cooking frenzy, make extra for another dinner.
For frozen stuffed manicotti, an hour in a 350º oven usually did the trick.

                        Manicotti with Cheese Filling

In a large pot place
4 quarts water
Over high heat bring the water to a boil.
salt to taste
12 manicotti tubes
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is cooked but slightly chewy.
Drain the tubes and rinse with cold water.
Drain well.

For Filling

In a large skillet melt
1/2 Cup butter or margarine
1 large onion, minced
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
Fry over medium heat for 5 minutes.
Stir in 
1/2 Cup flour
Gradually stir in
4 Cups milk
Stir over low heat until the sauce bubbles and thickens.

Stir in
1 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl combine
16 ounces ricotta 
4 ounces mozzarella, diced 
1/2 Cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 Cup grated Romano cheese
1/4 Cup chopped parsley  (or 4 Tablespoons dried, more or less)
3 large eggs
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Mix well.

Grease a  9 x 13 x 2 inch baking pan
Carefully stuff the manicotti tubes and place them in the baking pan.
Spoon the sauce over the tubes.

Preheat oven 400º
Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and lightly browned.

Serve with a vegetable that adds a bit of colour.
Ma’s Green Bean Salad is a good choice.

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