I have always been happy and content to eat Manicotti without meat because that is how my mother made it when I was growing up; however, my husband - not so much. You can make this a vegetarian meal easily by leaving out the meat. For my husband's sake, I add beef and/or sometimes chopped hot or mild Italian sausage. This meal is definitely a comfort food for me. I like to stuff extra shells and freeze them for a later date. To bake frozen Manicotti, spoon a layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking dish, place the frozen pasta on top and cover with another layer of tomato sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle with cheese and bake uncovered for 10 minutes.
Recipe and photo by cuckooking.blogspot.com
- 1 package (8 oz) Manicotti pasta
- 1 lb ground beef
- 4 c shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 2 c ricotta cheese
- ½ c grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- 3 c your favorite tomato sauce, divided
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- Sea salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 onion, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350. Spray 13X9 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water. Allow the pasta dry on paper towels.
- Over medium heat, saute onion and garlic in oil. Add beef and cook until no longer pink and crumbled. Season with salt. Drain and place in a large bowl.
- To the beef mixutre, add 3 cups mozzarella, ricotta, salt, pepper, parsley and basil. Mix well.
- Using a teaspoon, carefully stuff pasta shells with mixture.
- Spread 2 cups spaghetti sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Arrange stuffed pasta over sauce. Pour remaining spaghetti sauce over top of pasta.
- Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove foil, sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and parmesan or romano and bake for another 10 minutes.