Creamy Shrimp Manicotti


1 box Barilla manicotti pasta
1 lb cooked shrimp, cut into small bite size pieces
1 container ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
Italian seasoning

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray large lasagna casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. Cook manicotti in salted, boiling water with a drizzle of olive oil until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool slightly. In a large bowl, combine cooked shrimp, cheeses, garlic, and seasonings. It's time to cook the bechamel sauce.

Bechamel Sauce:

5 T unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup flour
4 cups warm milk
salt to taste
pepper to taste
pinch of nutmeg

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the flour and whisk until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the warm milk, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thick and creamy, about 8 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Taste for seasonings and adjust if needed. Remove from heat and set aside.

Stuff each manicotti with shrimp and cheese mixture. Arrange in prepared casserole dish side by side in a single layer. Cover with bechamel sauce. Top with additional mozzarella cheese if you want. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes until cheese is heated through and bubbly. Let cool for at least 5 minutes so manicotti can set. Serve with a light salad.

This is a very rich dish and can be lightened up by using part-skim cheeses. It's also good to use fresh herbs such as basil or Italian parsley in the filling.