Are you a pantry procrastinator? These snowstorms have made me realize the necessity of keeping my own shelves at home better stocked—especially since I couldn’t bear to go to the grocery store yesterday on the eve of Snowmageddon Part 2.
I found a helpful checklist on Real Simple’s website that I plan to use in the future. It recommends items like olive oil, balsamic vinegar, marinara sauce, and pasta for your cupboards; butter, eggs, Dijon mustard, and carrots for the fridge; and bread, spinach, shrimp, and bacon for the freezer.
A lot of the stuff is obvious, but the list is a good reminder of basics to have on hand for future cooking emergencies. I, fortunately, had several of the products, which helped me out this morning when I made this hearty, do-ahead recipe for dinner.
1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 tablespoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
12 uncooked manicotti shells
1 (24-ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
Stir together ricotta cheese and eggs until blended. Stir in spinach, mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and next three ingredients, through pepper. Stuff mixture into uncooked (yes, uncooked) manicotti shells.
Spread 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce in bottom of a lightly greased 12- x 9-inch baking dish. Arrange stuffed shells in a single layer over sauce. Pour remaining sauce over shells, covering shells completely. Cover dish with aluminum foil and refrigerate eight hours. (This step is important to allow the pasta to cook properly.)
Later (after shoveling snow, watching TV, or eating bonbons) bake, covered, at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and bake 15 more minutes. Makes six servings.
—Adapted from Southern Living magazine