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l4 manicotti shells
l onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsps. butter
2 cups asparagus (l bunch) cut into ll/2 to l” pieces
3 cups ham cut into l/4″ cubes
Heat oven 350. Cook manicotti shells in boiling salted water until just tender about 6-7 mins. You do not want to overcook them or they will be hard to fill. Slightly undercooked is fine. Drain, rinse in cold wate to stop cooking and set aside. Meanwhile add 3 tbsps. butter to med frying pan. When melted add onion and garlic and cook until onion is transpalucent about 2 mins. Cut the asparagus into l/2 to l” pieces depending on the size and thickness of the asparagus. Remove the woody bottom about an inch. If they are really thick cut into smaller pieces so it will cook faster. Add asparagus to pan and cook until tender, approx. l5 mins stirring occasionally. Transfer asparagus mix to a roomy bowl, add the ham and set aside to cool a bit. Add the l/4 cup parmesan cheese. In same frying pan melt the 6 tbsps. butter. Stir in the flour. Add milk and cook over med high heat whisking constantly. Bring the white sauce to a boil and boil for about l min or until sauce starts to thicken. Add white pepper, tarragon and swiss cheese. Stir until cheese has melted. Remove from heat. You will have approx 4 cups of cheese sauce. Add l cup of sauce to ham mixture. Divide the ham mix evenly between the manicotti shells. These can be filled with a teaspoon or your hands, whatever works best for you. Place in greased 9xl3″ glass baking dish. Pour the remaining cheese sauce over the filled manicotti. Sprinkle with l/2 cup parmesan cheese and bake at 350 for 30-35 mins. or until ubbly and lightly browned.
l/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
6 tbsps. butter
6 tbsps. flour
3 cups milk
2 cups swiss cheese, shredded
l/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
l/4 tsp. pepper
3/4 tsp. tarragon
Serves 4-6 Penzeys

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