Cheese Manicotti with Roasted Pepper Sauce

PREP: 30 minutes BAKE: 25 minutes STAND: 10 minutes OVEN: 350°F MAKES 4 servings

8 dried manicotti shells

Nonstick cooking spray

1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms

3⁄4 cup shredded carrot

3 or 4 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup light ricotta cheese or low-fat cream-style cottage cheese

3⁄4 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese (3 ounces)

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning, crushed

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, undrained

1 cup roasted red sweet peppers, drained and chopped

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain in colander. Rinse with cold water and drain again. Place shells in a single layer on a sheet of foil; set aside.

2 Meanwhile, for filling, coat an unheated large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Preheat over medium heat. Add mushrooms, carrot, and garlic to hot skillet. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or just until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Stir in ricotta cheese, 1⁄2 cup of the mozzarella cheese, the eggs, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning. Spoon filling into cooked manicotti shells.

3 For sauce, place undrained tomatoes in a blender or food processor. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Stir in roasted red peppers. Spread about 1⁄3 cup of the sauce into the bottom of four 12- to 16-ounce ungreased individual baking dishes or a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Arrange stuffed manicotti shells in individual baking dishes or large baking dish, overlapping shells slightly if necessary. Pour remaining sauce over manicotti.

4 Bake, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes for individual baking dishes, 35 to 40 minutes for large baking dish, or until heated through. Uncover and sprinkle with the remaining 1⁄4 cup mozzarella cheese. Bake for 5 minutes more. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

PER SERVING: 378 cal., 13 g total fat (7 g sat. fat), 141 mg chol., 860 mg sodium, 43 g carb., 3 g fiber, 22 g pro.