April 3, 2013

Beef and Cheese Manicotti

Boy I'm late posting this recipe!  It was the dinner that we had for my husbands birthday....in December.  I think Manicotti might be something that you would enjoy any time of the year, at least I would. 

When I asked my husband what he wanted for his birthday dinner he hem'd and haw'd and couldn't really make up his mind.  I started thinking about the kinds of things he orders when we go out for dinner and manicotti was right at the top of the list.  I can almost guarantee you that if we go to an Italian restaurant that he'll order one of two things, manicotti or lasagna.  So I just told him I had it covered and let it be a surprise.  He was happy.  Very very happy. 

If you're looking for an Italian meal you have to go right to a trusted source, for me that is Giada De Laurentiis.  

We loved everything about this meal.  The filling is to die for, the sauce is fantastic, topped with lots of yummy cheese.  There isn't one thing I would change.  

If it's still a little chilly in your neck of the woods you might want to whip this up sometime soon, heck you might want to make it no matter where you live.  You could also make a big pan of it and freeze half of it for later. Just make it up as usual but don't bake it, freeze it and then un-thaw it and bake as usual.

Beef and Cheese Manicotti
Recipe from Giada De Laurentiis

  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 container (15 oz) whole milk ricotta
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups marinara sauce
  • 2 Tbsp butter, cut into pieces
Cooking Directions
  1. In a large skillet add 1 tsp of olive oil and then add the onion and ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the meat has browned and the onions are translucent.
  2. Brush a cookie sheet with 1 tsp of olive oil.
  3. Cook the manicotti in salted water until slightly soft but still firm. Lay the cooked manicotti on the prepared cookie sheet to cool.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta, 1 1/2 to 2 cups mozzarella, 1/2 cup of Parmesan and the parsley, salt and pepper to taste. Mix until well combined.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  6. Use the remaining 2 tsp of olive oil to brush over a 9x13 inch pan.
  7. Spoon 1 1/2 cups of the marinara into the bottom of the pan.
  8. Spoon the filling into the manicotti and lay them in a single layer into the prepared dish.
  9. Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the manicotti and top with the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan and then dot the butter over the top of the cheese.
  10. Let the manicotti cook for 30-35 minutes until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling along the sides of the dish.
  11. Let the manicotti sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

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