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Topic: Super Easy lasagna, manicoti, canneloni and shells

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Subject: Super Easy lasagna, manicoti, canneloni and shells
Date Posted: 1/13/2010 7:03 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2009
Posts: 202
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I've never found this in a recipe book but I do it all the time and it works great!

Trying to rehydrate (boil) pasta shells then stuff them or layer them is a real pain. Burns my fingers, falls apart, splits, bursts upon filling, etc. Never again!

I take the dry brittle pasta and do what I want to layer or stuff them at the beginning. Once they are arranged in the serving dish I pour the sauce over the top, making sure every part of each shell has at least a small amount of liquid having touched it and then bake according to the instructions. The pasta pieces absord the moisture and come out perfect. If I don't want them drowned in sauce while cooking, I soak each dry piece for a few minutes in cold water then do the above and then make sure the dish has a little water in the bottom and is covered so they steam while baking.

If you're apprehensive about trying this, do lasagna first. It asures lots of moisture and a good bake. It's almost idiot proof and super easy. Just layer the hard strips with seasoned sauce, cheese, meat, whatever. I even have my 5 and 6 year old grandkids do it. They just glow with pride when it turns out.

Try it. You'll like it!


Date Posted: 1/14/2010 6:28 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 5,615
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Ken, yes, I have done this with lasagna, and it works great.  For years I just stopped making it, because boiling the noodles was such a pain--and they tore and whatnot--and it just wasn't worth all the effort.  But to make a lasagna with uncooked noodles is so simple, and comes out perfectly! 

One tip I'll offer is to add about 2 cups of water to a jar of spaghetti sauce.  I guess the extra water is absorbed while baking, because it all comes out right.

Mmmm, lasagna.

Date Posted: 1/28/2010 4:12 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2008
Posts: 200
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I wish I read your post a couple of days ago.  I just made a giant dish of stuffed shells, and wished there was a better way than dealing with trying to stuff the hot shells that didn't cool in the rinse, and the ones that stick together, and being disappointed with the torn ones..........
Can't wait to try your suggestion next time.  Thanks.  

Date Posted: 7/2/2010 12:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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Great tip! Thankssmiley!!