Tuesday I found myself wandering around the grocery store looking for dinner inspiration. I came across the pasta but still wasn’t sure. I had half a jar of pasta sauce in the fridge that I needed to use so I started looking harder. And that’s when I saw the manicotti. I’ve never even eaten it let alone made it, but what could be so bad about cheese stuffed pasta?
To prepare for my inauguration I did some research and settled on a classic recipe. The prep work was easy and quick and my little one was being cooperative. Then it all went south. My son started getting clingy and he was crying so I had to attend to him first. By the time I got back, the manicotti had sat too long and were starting to stick together. I tried filling them with a spoon but the noodles kept splitting. According to America’s Test Kitchen using a ziplock bag with one end cut off like a piping bag is the best method for filling. So I stuffed it all into a ziplock, cut the end off and before I could even get a pasta tube it started oozing everywhere. I did manage to get a few filled this way, but it wasn’t pretty. Meanwhile, my son was still fussing and I had no idea why. By this point I’m pretty frustrated because the pasta keeps breaking, I can’t get the filling in the tube properly and my son desperately wants my attention. So I do the only thing left– I fill the rest of those tubes with my hands. When all’s said and done, sometimes the best tools are the ones attached to you. At this point I was able to set the pasta (which looked horrible) aside and calm my son.
When I looked up again, I saw the kitchen was a disaster! It looked like I had been attacked by a flock of sea gulls. I decided then and there that I am never attempting manicotti again. It isn’t worth it, no matter how delicious it is. By the way, it did turn out to be pretty tasty. A glorified lasagna if you ask me, but still tasty. And I learned that a little pasta sauce and lots of cheese makes them look a lot more appetizing.
After all of that, I forgot to take a picture. Oh well, I’m sure you can use your imagination.
If anyone has any manicotti stories, or secrets on how to fill them, I’d love to hear all about it!