Our Favorite Manicotti

12 large manicotti shells
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 cup ricotta cheese
6 Tbs. chopped fresh basil or 2 Tbsp. dried basil, crushed
1 (26-oz.) jar prepared spaghetti sauce, divided (We like Classico)
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese or Romano

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 13X9-in. baking dish with Crisco shortening.

Cook pasta as per package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water. Let pasta dry on paper towels.

For the filling mix together 3 cups mozzarella, ricotta and fresh basil. Using a teaspoon carefully stuff pasta with shells with prepared cheese mixture.

Put 2 cups of sauce in the backing dish. Arrange stuffed pasta over the sauce. Pour remaining sauce over the top of the pasta. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.

Bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and bake for 10 minutes longer. Serve immediately.

NOTE:

You can cut the tip off a plastic bag and making the hole the size of the manicotti, close the top of the bag and then squeeze the bag filled with cheese mixture. This makes the stuffing of the mixture a lot easier.

Serve with a big salad.