This gourmet eggplant manicotti is quicker than takeout!

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Manicotti is an impressive yet deceptively simple meal to make, and this eggplant version is perfect for vegetarians and even quicker than ordering from a restaurant! By cooking the manicotti shells before baking them, you save time in the oven, meaning that you’re even closer to sitting down for dinner. The simple eggplant parmesan topping will make your whole kitchen smell like a little Italian bistro, and the decadent cheesy filling will impress even the pickiest eater. Instead of putting on nice clothes and dragging yourself out for a fancy Italian dinner, why not enjoy a fancy Italian dinner at home – in your pajamas?
Cooktop Cove
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Eggplant manicotti
6
20 minutes
20 minutes
40 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium eggplants, peeled and cubed
1 26-oz jar tomato sauce
1 15-oz container ricotta cheese, drained
½ cup asiago cheese, shredded
1 cup fresh baby spinach, cooked and drained
½ teaspoon tarragon (dried)
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg
1 8-oz package manicotti shells, cooked, drained and cooled
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Place a large skillet over a medium-high heat and add the olive oil and garlic. Sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the eggplant and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and cook an additional 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the sauce from the heat.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, asiago, spinach, seasonings, and egg.
Spread out a thin, even layer of the tomato sauce along the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish. Stuff the manicotti shells with the cheese mixture by scooping it into a plastic bag, cutting off the corner, and piping the mixture into the shells.
Lay the shells out across the baking dish and top with the remaining eggplant and tomato sauce and parmesan cheese.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until cheese has melted and shells have cooked through. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
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