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*Kids Cooking* Easy Cheese Stuffed Manicotti

Posted Nov 02 2009 10:01pm
This is another in a series of posts done completely by my 11 year old son. He's got a huge interest in cooking and is becoming quite the little food enthusiast. Everything you see in these posts have been conceptualized and created by him. I've tried to be only minimally involved, allowing him to use my kitchen blog as the stage for his creativity. -KG

Hi everyone! It's Vaughn again. I'm back with another easy meal that most kids could make with a little help from Mom or dad. I love to cook and I know that lots of other kids do too. I hope I can inspire you to let your kids into the kitchen with this newest recipe.

Let's start with the recipe and everything that you'll need to make this meal.

Easy Cheese Stuffed Manicotti
1 package manicotti pasta
Mozzarella string cheese sticks (1 for each manicotti)
3 Tablespoons olive oil or water
2-3 Tablespoons Italian seasoning mix
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
4 Cups of your favorite tomato based spaghetti sauce

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Cool pasta until it can be handled safely. Heat oven to 350*. Pour Italian seasoning onto a small plate. Dampen the string cheese stick slightly in olive oil (water would work too). Roll each cheese stick in the Italian season and shake off the excess. Place each cheese stick inside a manicotti shell. Spread thin layer of sauce on bottom of 13x9 inch baking dish. Place filled pasta in single layer over sauce. Pour remaining sauce over pasta and cover with foil. Bake 40 minutes. Remove foil and top with shredded cheeses and bake 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

During the last 15 minutes of baking time, assemble your salad and set the table.

I used a pre-packaged Caesar salad mix that I got from the produce section at the grocery store and it was good, but I like my Mom's recipe for Caesar salad better. If you want to make the real deal, try this recipe- *Classic Caesar Salad*(scroll down for the recipe)

Another thing I want to mention is that I used my Mom's recipe for puttanesca sauce because it's my favorite but you can use any tomato sauce you'd like. I think you should try Mom's sauce though, because it's the BOMB! You can find that recipe here- *Puttanesca Sauce*

Thanks for coming and taking a look at what I've been whipping up in the kitchen!
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