Monday, January 28, 2013

Three Cheeses and Shrimp Manicotti

I love manicotti.  When ever I go to the Olive Garden, I always seem to pick it.  Thought I'd share a great Italian manicotti recipe with you today with a twist adding shrimp to the stuffing.

1 box manicotti pasta
1 lb. cooked shrimp, cut into small bite size pieces
1 container ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. onion powder
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray large lasagna casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. Cook manicotti in salted, boiling water with a drizzle of olive oil until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool slightly. In a large bowl, combine cooked shrimp, cheeses, garlic, and seasonings.

Béchamel Sauce

5 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup flour
4 cups warm milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the warm milk, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thick and creamy, about 8 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Taste for seasonings and adjust if needed. Remove from heat and set aside.

Put the cheese mixture in a large baggie and cut the tip off baggie.  Make it large enough to pipe the stuffing. Stuff each manicotti with shrimp and cheese mixture. Arrange in prepared casserole dish side by side in a single layer. Cover with béchamel sauce. Top with additional mozzarella cheese if you like. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes until cheese is heated through and bubbly. Let cool for at least 5 minutes so manicotti can set.

Variation – Before serving, you may also pour a little red marinara sauce over the béchameli for additional color and flavor.  You may also add chopped spinach to the stuffing or replace the shrimp with chopped up chicken. 

This freezes nicely for another meal.

Have a great Monday.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours.

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