I had such a great response to my post about doing rice noodles in parchment, I decided to take the leap and see if I could do more traditional pastas this way also. The answer? YES! I actually made this dish two ways – the traditional way and the parchment paper method. They are identical in taste, flavor, and texture (except some of the manicotti noodles ripped when I boiled them and when I used the parchment method they did not and turned out perfectly shaped). The difference? No manicotti pan to scrub afterwards.
Line your baking sheet with foil then place your parchment on top (see Technique page for info about how to use and fold the parchment). Soak 8 manicotti shells in your sink, covered in hot water for 20 minutes. In a large plastic zip bag, mix 1 container of cottage cheese or 1 container of ricotta (or a mix of half and half of each), 1 package of frozen spinach (defrosted and squeezed dry), 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 tsp Italian herb mix, and salt and pepper to taste. Seal the bag and squish it up till it’s mixed. Cut a hole in the corner of the bag and use it to pipe the mix into the shells.
Place 1/8 cup spaghetti sauce at the bottom of each parchment packet in the shape of 2 manicotti. Place 2 stuffed manicotti on top. Top with 1/2 cup sauce. Repeat for other 3 packets. Bake at 400 for 25 minutes. Allow to rest about 3 minutes before cutting open the packets.
It turns out perfectly. It’s moist and delicious and full of flavor. Definitely my new favorite way of making pasta!
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