*8 oz Pasta, manicotti, semolina, dry (1 box)
*1 tsp olive oil
*1 cup fresh chopped onion
*1 cup chopped tomato , chopped (I buy petite diced tomatoes and drain the juice)
*1 cup medium green bell peppers , chopped
*2 medium garlic cloves , minced
*12 oz cooked chicken breast, diced (I boil mine and then shred it)
*2 cups Italian cheese blend
*1 egg, lightly beaten
*3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese , divided
*1/2 cup pesto
*1/2 tsp salt
*1/8 tsp black pepper
*26 oz marinara sauce
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray; set aside. Cook manicotti 7 minutes, or according to package directions; rinse with cold water and drain. It's easier to work with if you leave it a bit al dente.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, tomato, green pepper ,and garlic; cook 5 minutes, stirring often, or until vegetables are softened.
3. In a large bowl, mix vegetables, chicken, 1 cup Italian cheese blend, egg, 1/2 cup Parmesan, pesto, salt, and pepper until mixed. Fill each manicotti noodle carefully.
4. Pour 1/2 of the marinara sauce into prepared baking pan. Arrange filled manicotti over sauce and top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and Italian cheese blend. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until manicotti is heated through and sauce is bubbling.
This meal is a bit time consuming, especially if you're cooking for a crowd, but it's SO worth the time! I recommend a partner to help with stuffing the manicotti. It definitely makes things go much faster!