Manacotti Hack

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I almost named this post Personal Lasagna.  With a title like that, how can you go wrong.  Your own personal lasagna.  Sounds so much classier then a personal pan pizza, and yet so much less expensive then a personal shopper.  A personal lasagna, ready to be slapped on a plate next to a salad and garlic bread, ready to be eaten.

I have no idea how to photograph food… so I hope this looks good and doesn’t make you nauseous…

But I switched it to Manicotti Hack, because that’s how I invented these.  After a few failed attempts at filling a manicotti… completely breaking the noodle and heating up the kitchen with a few choice words, I decided to try a new tactic.  And that is when inspiration hit.  Why use an over-sized spoon to try to fill (read: destroy) a pre-made tube of noodle when I can roll a flat one up instead!  Easy, peasy.

Try my recipe out, you’ll be so glad you did.  I tend to make my lasagna taste more like pizza to please my kids… feel free to *adult* it up with fancier ingredients at your discretion.
The best part about this recipe is that you no longer have to wait 10 minutes for your lasagna to set before you slice it, nor do you have to smash your spatula down in utter irritation when you serve the lasagna and it doesn’t stay perfectly stacked.  Yours slides off to the side too, doesn’t it?  I hope I’m not the only one who winds up serving my lasagna in a bowl with a spoon.

These are ready to plunk down individually the moment they come out of the oven.  Yum.

Personal Lasagna

(preheat oven to 350 degrees F)

Ingredients:

12 lasagna noodles

16 oz ricotta cheese

2 cups Italian cheese blend, shredded

1 egg

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

6 slices of mozzarella cheese

garlic powder , basil, and other dried Italian herbs, to taste.

1 jar of pizza sauce or marinara sauce or whatever spaghetti sauce your family will eat without endlessly examining each bite and picking out the invisible onion specks

1.  Cook the lasagna noodles until done.  Not falling apart, but done.  They do not continue to cook in the oven.

2.  While the noodles boil, mix the ricotta cheese, 1 1/2 C mozzarella, 1/2 C parm cheese, 2 eggs and any dried herbs you’d like in a bowl.

3. Once cooked, use tongs to take out one noodle at a time and pat it dry on a non-terrycloth dish towel.

4.  Put a half a slice of mozzarella cheese at one end, plunk a heaping dollop of cheese mixture on top of that, and roll up!

Here is the noodle with a half a slice of mozzarella cheese and the ricotta mix on top…

… then just roll it up!

5.  Place in a baking pan that has one spoonful of marinara sauce smeared all over the bottom (to prevent sticking.)  I had to use two loaf pans because I was too lazy to hand wash the 9 x 13 inch pan we have…

6.  Continue until all the noodles and all the filling are used up.

7.  Pour the jar of sauce over the noodles, sprinkle the last 1/2 C of Mozzarella on top, then slip it into the oven.

8.  Bake for 25 minutes, until hot and bubbling.

Meanwhile, make your salad and garlic bread.   If you have a garden, now’s your chance to head out and pick some veggies for your salad!  For some reason, the lettuce has really taken off in my garden, and it is so lovely!   I just have to share — isn’t this *almost* as pretty as a bouquet of flowers?

Do you this much butter on your garlic bread too?

Pop one or two personal lasagnas onto the center of each plate, and stand back and admire how low your blood pressure is and how perfectly rolled up the personal lasagnas remain.  It’s lovely.

I promise you this will be one meal that your whole family will eat.  Even your cat.  At least, if your cat is like ours and only eats human food.  xoxo