Manicotti is a favorite Italian dish and makes a nice change of pace from the usual spaghetti. These large pasta shells are often stuffed with a variety of cheeses, with ricotta being common. Use ricotta as a base and mix in vegetables like spinach for added nutrition. While stuffing manicotti shells can be difficult, freezer bags make the work easier. Kids will enjoy squeezing the filling into manicotti shells, making this a recipe the whole family can participate in making.
Cook the manicotti shells until they are al dente, or just slightly firm. Plunge them into a bowl of cold water to stop them from cooking and make them easier to touch.
Prepare the manicotti filling and use a spoon to scoop it into a large plastic freezer bag.
Use a pair of scissors to carefully snip off one of the bottom corners of the bag.
Hold the manicotti shell in one hand. Use the other hand to squeeze the filling out of the plastic bag through the hole and into the shell.
Arrange the manicotti shells in a baking dish and bake them according to recipe directions.
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Ann Jones has been writing since 1998. Her short stories have been published in several anthologies. Her journalistic work can be found in major magazines and newspapers. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing.