Clam Stuffed Manicotti Walt & Catherine

This dish may be frozen. Just thaw for 2 hours, then bake, uncovered, in a 375-degree oven for 45 minutes.

1 cup sliced mushrooms or 2 (3-ounce) cans
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 cups fresh bread crumbs (Italian or French)
3 6 & 1/2-ounce cans clams, minced, undrained
4 cups grated Mozzarella cheese (1 pound), divided
2 & 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup Ricotta or large curd cottage cheese
1/2 cup minced parsley
2 teaspoons chopped basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
16 large Manicotti noodles
3 15-ounce cans Marinara sauce

In large skillet, saute mushrooms and garlic in butter or margarine until tender. Stir in breadcrumbs, clams with liquid, 1 cup Mozzarella, 12 cup Parmesan, Ricotta, parsley, basil, salt and pepper. In large pot, cook noodles in salted water until limp but not cooked through. Drain, rinse with cold water.

Stuff Manicotti loosely with clam mixture (it expands when cooked). Spread 1 cup sauce in each of two 13x9-inch baking dishes. Arrange stuffed noodles on top and spoon remaining sauce over noodles. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, covered, in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes. Uncover, and bake 10 minutes longer.

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