Prep 15 mins
Cook 50 mins
I made this up one night, when I had lots of cheese in the fridge and wanted something spicy and hearty. It's full of flavour and vegetarian but, as I said, it is very spicy thanks to the chipotles so don't make it if you've got mild tastebuds! The sauce is fairly liquid to start with but will thicken as the shells soak it up during cooking. Use the manicotti tubes that don't need to be pre-cooked for this recipe.
- 1⁄2 large onion, chopped
- 4 -5 button mushrooms, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 -10 manicotti
- 250 g fresh ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 (7 ounce) can chipotle chiles in adobo
- 2 1⁄2 cups pasta sauce (your preferred brand)
- 1 1⁄2 cups water
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 125 g fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the onions and mushrooms until they are soft and browned.
- Put the cooked mushrooms and onions in a mixing bowl along with the ricotta and basil.
- Open the can of chipotle peppers and take out 2 peppers.
- Chop them finely and add to the cheese mixture.
- Mix and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Now take another two chipotles and the remaining sauce in the tin and add them to the pasta sauce. You may have some chipotles left over and you can add them, to your taste. If you are worried about the spice, this is where you can cut back a bit.
- Use a hand blender to purée the chipotles in with the rest of the sauce.
- Add the water and pour 1/3 of the mixture on the bottom of a baking dish (about 9 x 13 or slightly smaller).
- Start stuffing the uncooked manicotti with the ricotta cheese mixture, placing each shell in the baking dish as you go.
- When all the shells are stuffed pour the rest of the sauce over.
- It should be fairly watery and enough to cover the shells.
- Cover with tinfoil and bake in a 200 C fan oven for 30 minutes.
- If you don't have a fan oven, you will need to increase the heat by about 20°C.
- After 30 minutes, take the tinfoil off and cook for a further 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle the parmesan on top and lay the mozzarella over the pasta as well.
- Grill for 3-4 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling.
- Let rest for 10-15 minutes and then serve.