Italian Favorites, Pasta | October 16, 2015 | By

Mmmm! Manicotti! I grew up with this dish. I have many Italian favorites from my Granny G. This one is spectacular!

Marinara Sauce:
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
• 1 Tbs of olive oil
• 4 cups of crushed tomatoes
• 3 Tbs of fresh basil
• 1/2 tsp of dried oregano
• 1 tsp of sugar
• 1 tsp of salt
• 1/2 tsp of pepper
(you could also skip this and use a good store bought Marinara)

Meat mixture:
3/4 lbs of ground beef (or a combination of beef and Italian sausage)
• 1/2 Tbs of olive oil
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 1/2 cups of shredded Mozzarella
• 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 -15 oz container of ricotta cheese
• 1 large egg, room temperature
• 1/3 cup of spinach (thawed, and cooked, all moisture squeezed out)
• 1/2 tsp of salt
• 1/2 tsp of pepper

• 2 cups of shredded Mozzarella
• 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan
• 1 Tbs of butter, cut into small pieces
• Chopped parsley, for garnish


In a medium skillet over med/high heat, add the olive oil and garlic and cook til fragrant, about 2 minutes.

DSC08367Add in the tomatoes, basil, oregano, sugar and salt and pepper, stir to combine and cook over low heat for 20 minutes.DSC08385In a large heavy skillet, over med/high heat, add the oil and saute the beef and onion until all the pink is cooked out, about 10-12 minutes.DSC08388Add in the garlic, cook 2 more minutes, season with salt and pepper, let cool.DSC08395
DSC08399Preheat oven to 350° Cook the manicotti shells according to package directions, drain and cool on an oiled cookie sheet.DSC08422In a medium bowl, combine the mozzarella, Parmesan, ricotta, egg, spinach and the beef mixture. Stir well to combineDSC08414DSC08416Stuff the shells and pour about 2 cups of the marinara sauce on the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch casserole dish. Arrange the shells over the sauce.DSC08426Top with the remaining sauce and sprinkle on 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella and 1/2 cup of Parmesan. DSC08427DSC08433Dot with a little butter and bake for 35 minutes.

DSC08435Garnish with chopped parsley. Make sure to let rest for 20 minutes or so before serving!DSC08450




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