Roasted Vegetable Manicotti

Although we've lived in our apartment for quite a while, we had not had my parents over to dinner prior to last weekend. This make ahead recipe was wonderful for a dinner party, I was able to prepare everything the night before and then just bake this the next day -- leaving Dave and I plenty of time to entertain once guests arrived.

Recipe from Oh My Veggies.

-8 oz. cremini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
-1 small (or baby) eggplant, diced
-1 small zucchini, diced
-1 tbsp. olive oil
-salt + pepper to taste
-1 package manicotti shells (14 shells)
-15 oz. ricotta cheese 
-1 egg, beaten
-1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese, divided
-1 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
-2 c. jarred marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Then combine the mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl; toss to coat. Transfer to lined baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time.

Cook manicotti shells al dente, according to package instructions. Drain and run under cold water until shells are cool enough to handle.

While shells are boiling, in another large bowl, stir together ricotta, egg, salt and pepper. Fold in roasted vegetables, 1/4 c. parmesan cheese, and 1/2 c. mozzarella cheese.

Spread 1 cup of marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Using a small spoon, carefully fill each manicotti shell with cheese and vegetable mixture. Place finished manicotti in baking dish. Once all manicotti are filled, top with remaining sauce and cheese.

If you plan to serve this right away you can bake at 350 for 30 minutes covered and then uncovered for 10 minutes.

If you plan to serve this the next day, like me, cover the pan with foil and refrigerate overnight. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes and uncovered for 10 additional minutes, then serve.

 This went over really well at our dinner, we only had one portion for leftovers. The filling was cheesy, but had a good amount of the roasted vegetables. This was great because I was able to make it the day before, but it was plenty of dinner to serve five people.


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