1/4 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 14-1/2-ounce can tomatoes, cut up
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1 small bay leaf
8 dried manicotti shells
2 beaten eggs
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)
1-1/2 cups ricotta cheese or cream-style cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup snipped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1. For sauce, in a 2-quart saucepan cook onion and garlic in hot oil until tender. Add undrained tomatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, the 1 teaspoon oregano, the thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; discard bay leaf.
2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Rinse shells in cold water.
3. For filling, in a medium mixing bowl stir together eggs, half of the mozzarella cheese, the ricotta or cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley, the 1/2 teaspoon oregano, and dash pepper. Spoon filling into manicotti.
4. Pour half of the tomato mixture into a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Arrange stuffed manicotti in the baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over shells. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese atop.
5. Bake the stuffed manicotti, covered, in a 350 degree F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until heated through. Makes 8 servings.
Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare as above, except do not bake. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Bake as above.