Is there anything better than eating a plate of hearty stuffed pasta for dinner on a chilly fall night? We don’t think so. But unfortunately, whether you’re craving stuffed shells or cheesy manicotti, making those meals can take more time than we have on an average weeknight. That’s because fiddling with a big spoon, a sticky cheese mixture, and slippery just-cooked pasta often feels like an exercise in futility. So we were really impressed when we saw Martha Stewart‘s pasta-filling hack in a recent Instagram video.
In the video, Stewart is making manicotti, a dish of large tubular pasta stuffed with cheese. But instead of trying to smush the filling in using a spoon, she does something ingenious: she adds the cheese filling to a plastic bag, snips off the corner, and then pipes it into the pasta. There’s no sticky spoon, no clumps of errant cheese falling all over the counter – just a smooth line of cheese filling gliding into the pasta. It even works with this particular filling that has spinach in it, too, showing that you don’t need to worry about making the mixture perfectly smooth before piping. We shouldn’t be too surprised to see the creator of this garlic peeling hack come up with something so effortless, but here we are, mouths agape nonetheless!
This hack makes us think that maybe our dream of eating stuffed shells and manicotti whenever our hearts desire could actually be possible. Once you take out the sticky mess of trying to fill the pasta, all you really have to worry about it cooking the noodles and then baking the dish, which is easy as can be.
The hack also would enable us to make large batches of stuffed shells on the weekend in record time, and they freeze beautifully. Then, on nights when we’re craving cheesy baked pasta for dinner, all we’d have to do is take it out of the freezer, pop it in the oven until it’s heated through, and we suddenly have an Italian-American comfort food classic hitting the dinner table that required literally no hands-on work. Sounds like a total win to us!