Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Beef & Cheese Manicotti

I am not sure where this recipe came from (I am thinking Brooke!) but I cannot tell you how much we love it. We haven't had it in a while and when I made it last night we all had second (and third!) helpings. I added a handful of chopped fresh mushrooms to the ground beef while cooking (gotta throw in those veggies!) . I have also added spinach to the cheese mixture, but this time I served it on the side. Next time it will be back in because no one but me ate it!

makes 7 servings ~ cook & prep time: 1 hour

4 tsp. olive oil
1 med. onion(coarsely chopped)
1 pound ground beef
salt & pepper
14 (8 oz) manicotti shells
1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
3 cups mozzarella cheese
(grated or shredded)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 Tblsp. parsley
2 cloves minced garlic
3 cups marinara sauce
2 Tblsp. butter (cut into pieces)

Heat skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tsp. olive oil, onion, & ground beef. Season with salt & pepper. Sauté until the meat browns & the onion is translucent (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat & cool. Brush 1 tsp. of oil over a large baking sheet. Cook the manicotti in a large pot of boiling salted water until slightly softened, but still very firm to the bite (about 4-6 minutes). using a slotted spoon, transfer the manicotti from the pot to the oiled baking sheet and cool. Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, 1 1/2 to 2 cups mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, & parsley. Add the garlic, salt & pepper to taste, and mix. Stir the cooled meat mixture into the cheese mixture. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Brush the remaining 2 tsp. of olive oil over a 9x13 inch glass baking dish. Spoon 1 1/2 cups of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Fill the manicotti with the cheese/meat mixture. Arrange stuffed pasta in a single layer in the prepared dish & spoon the remaining sauce over pasta. sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese, then the remaining 1/2 cup of parmesan over the stuffed pasta. Dot entire dish with the butter pieces. Bake the manicotti uncovered until heated through and the sauce bubbles on the sides of the dish (aprox. 30-35 minutes). Let the manicotti stand 5 minutes & serve.

~ recipe from Brieanne's collection ~