Vegetable Manicotti With Sherry Cream Sauce Is Worth the Prep Time by Donna John
Yes, this vegetable manicotti recipe takes a little time to make. But pour yourself a glass of wine and just do it, because after the first bite you'll know it was worth every minute.
- 1 box manicotti, cooked until al dente
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- 5 cloves garlic, minced (divided)
- 3 tablespoons minced shallots (divided)
- 1 cup sherry cooking wine
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/2 cup diced mushrooms
- 1 small eggplant, diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 2 red bell peppers, roasted and chopped (here's how to roast peppers)
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Here's how to make it:
Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a sauce pot. Add 2 cloves of the garlic and 2 tablespoons of the minced shallots. Cook until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add the sherry cooking wine and increase heat to high. Cook until it reduces by half. Add the heavy cream, reduce heat, and cook until you have about 1 1/2 cups of sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
In a skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant and remaining garlic and shallots. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat.
Add the chopped roasted red bell pepper, oregano, basil, ricotta and Parmesan. Stir until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Stuff the manicotti with the vegetable mixture and place into a lightly greased baking dish. Pour the sauce over the top. (If you want a prettier dish, reserve a little of the filling to add on the top.) Sprinkle with a little Parmesan, if desired. Bake in a preheated 350-degree F oven for 25-30 minutes.
Note: Knowing that I was going to have a few manicotti noodles and some vegetable filling leftover, I saved a little of the sauce, too. In an individual baking dish I layered the noodles and filling like a lasagna, then covered it with the sauce. I popped it in the oven while the manicotti baked, then had it for lunch the next day. So if you're not into stuffing manicotti shells, you could make the entire dish this way by substituting lasagna noodles for the manicotti.
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