Stuffed Monster Heads
Bones made from manicotti shells and mushrooms, blood tomato sauce, and cheese "marrow" make for this spooky and fun baked dish. Easy to put together and to make ahead of time, this is a great dinner party dish for adults and older children. Serve with bone shaped biscuits, a salad, and a fun dessert and your spooky dinner is all set! Don't be tempted to omit the mushrooms even if you don't like them. They keep the manicotti rounded and "bony" looking.
14 manicotti shells
28 medium white mushrooms
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 pounds ricotta cheese
2 cups Parmesan cheese, divided
2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
3 cups favorite smooth tomato sauce
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease individual baking dishes or a large baking dish. Cook the manicotti shells according to the package directions until al dente, but not too soft. Drain well and toss to remove most of the water. While the manicotti is cooking, clean the mushrooms well and toss with the lemon juice to prevent browning. Beat the eggs, ricotta, half the Parmesan, half the mozzarella, and the spices in a medium bowl until smooth. Pour the sauce into the prepared baking dish(es). Stuff the manicotti with the ricotta mixture using a long handled small spoon or a pastry bag and tip. The filling should be packed, but not so tightly that it cracks or breaks the shells. Add a mushroom to the end of each shell and place in the baking dish. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and sprinkle the remaining cheeses over the bones. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted. Serve hot.
Makes 6 servings.
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
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