Sunday, April 27, 2008

Meatless Manicotti

Okay, I can't take all the credit for this one, it actually came from a friend, the lovely Liz Posey Jones, but it's soooo good and super easy. One of my favorite meatless dinners!

2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 carton (16 ounce) cottage cheese
1 package (10 ounce) fresh or frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained or squeezed
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 black pepper
1 package manicotti shells
1 jar tomato-basil pasta sauce (or use homemade!)
3/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 375. 
Combine 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, cottage cheese, black pepper, spinach and Parmesan cheese in medium bowl. Spoon about 3 tablespoons mixture into each uncooked manicotti shell. Pour half of tomato-basil pasta sauce into a 13x9 baking dish. Arrange stuffed shells in a single layer over sauce and top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella evenly over sauce. Pour 3/4 cup water into dish. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 375 for 1 hour or until shells are tender (I've done a little less, 53 or 55ish min has still been okay). Let stand 10 min. before serving. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Shan's own Butternut Squash Lasagna

I never measure anything when I make up recipes (or really ever for that matter!), so eyeball everything. *Tip: I love to make individual servings of lasagna and bake them each on their own plate, so servings aren’t sloppy like most lasagna. To do this, cut the noodles with kitchen shears and assemble individually in ramekins or on a bake able dish.


-1 package lasagna (I like to get the completely flat lasagna with no ugly side ridges)
-1 butternut squash
-Swiss, gruyere, or emmanthaler cheese (or all 3!)
-fresh spinach
-a little flour (for the roux)
-zest of one lemon


  1. Peel, cube, and roast squash with lots of EVOO, salt, pepper, and a little nutmeg in about a 400 degree oven until golden brown (or just taste until soft on the inside)
  2. Cook lasagna noodles.
  3. Mix about 2 -3 tablespoons of butter with a little flour to make a roux. Continue by adding cream and a handful of grated cheese, and then lemon zest for a lovely bichemel sauce. Add salt and pepper as needed. Whisk the whole time.
  4. Put roasted squash into a VitaMix (my favorite tool!) or a Cuisinart/food processor. Puree for a couple seconds; you want it pureed but not too smooth, so it retains some of that gourdish texture. Add more evoo if needed, and add more salt, pepper, or nutmeg also to taste.
  5. Strain lasagna noodles and pat dry.
  6. Spoon squash puree into the bottom of a lasagna dish. Layer noodles, then white sauce and spinach, then more noodles, then butternut squash, then repeat. Cover top with more grated cheeses and throw back in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until cheese is golden!