Ham Stuffed Manicotti

ham

From Pat Barger, adapted from About.com/Busy Cooks

Cook 24 manicotti shells according to package directions. Drain, rinse in cold water and set aside.

Cook  3 c diced onion, 6 cloves garlic,minced and 2 green bell peppers, seeded and finely diced in 6 T olive oil until tender. Add  4c diced ham (1/2” dice) Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

In a small heavy saucepan, heat 3/4 c oil, stir in 3/4 c  flour and cook stirring constantly until mixture bubbles. Add 6 c milk and cook–whisking constantly– until sauce thickens. Stir in 4 c shredded Swiss cheese. Stir 1/4 of the sauce into the ham mixture.

Fill the manicotti shells with the ham mixture– spoon or fingers work best– it is a little messy.

To freeze, place two shells in each of 12 ziploc bags. Portion the remaining sauce into 12 smaller bags, which are then included in the manicotti bags. Label and freeze.

To serve, thaw overnight in the frig. Place a little of the sauce in the bottom of a sprayed individual size casserole, arrange two manicotti shells in a single layer and top with the remainder of the sauce. Sprinkle with 1 T shredded Parmesan. Bake uncovered at 325 degrees until bubbling, about 20 minutes, or in the microwave covered. If microwaving, sprinkle the Parmesan after it is heated.

Makes 12 servings