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Inside-Out Manicotti
March 09, 2004

This is a great idea if you don't have manicotti on-hand, or don't want to stuff them. I used bow ties instead of ziti because that's what we had in the pantry, but almost any kind of small pasta should work. To spice up the sauce, add 1/2 teaspoon ground marjoram, 1/2 teaspoon ground thyme, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 bay leaf, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste). I used 1 teaspoon salt instead of 1/2 teaspoon. Alternatively, you can add about 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning instead of the basil, marjoram, thyme, and oregano (more or less to taste). Add 1 small can mushrooms to the sauce. Remove the bay leaf before assembling. Top the entire dish with a sprinkle of grated mozzarella cheese about ten minutes before it's ready. Add grated parmesan cheese on top after plated. Serve with caesar salad and garlic bread.

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