Happy New Year from all of us here at Is Butter A Carb headquarters! I hope your holidays were just as fabulous as ours have been. It’s always so nice to visit with family, especially those you haven’t seen in a very long time. The holidays around here are always packed with lots of travel and unexpected visitors and honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Ok, enough with all the holiday mumbo jumbo. I’m hopeful that you read my last post and made my tomato sauce. I’m going to wager that you did and it turned out lovely! Now, you’re wondering “what can I use this delicious sauce for?”, well I’ll tell ya! Tonight we are using it for Beef & Cheese Manicotti! It’s such an easy dish and the results are out of this world! Whether you want an easy weeknight dinner or you need to feed a crowd this is the recipe for you. The richness of the cheese with the acidity of the tomato sauce…I’m pretty sure you’re about to fall in love! So, let’s get to it!
4 Teaspoons olive oil
1 Medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 Pound ground beef
1 Package of Manicotti (8-ounce package)
1 Container ricotta (15-ounce)
3 Cups shredded mozzarella
1 Cup grated Parmesan
2 Tablespoons fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped
2 Garlic cloves, minced
3 Cups tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Get out a heavy skillet or dutch oven (I always use a dutch oven) and put it on medium heat. Add a teaspoon of olive oil and let it heat up a bit. Once you think the oil is heated add your beef and onions. Go ahead and season with salt and pepper to taste.
You’re going to saute this until the meat is browned and the onions become translucent. It should take about 6 or 7 minutes. Then just remove it from the heat, set aside, and let it cool.
Next use a teaspoon of oil and brush it over a large baking sheet. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the Manicotti just until it softens slightly, it should take 5 or 6 minutes. You want it to remain fairly firm to the bite, if you don’t it’s going to be a bitch to try to stuff. Drain and transfer the Manicotti to the oiled baking sheet to cool. Go ahead and preheat your oven to 350°F.
Grab a big mixing bowl and combined 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese, the ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of Parmesan, garlic, Italian parsley and salt & pepper to taste. Then mix your little heart out until it’s well combined.
Once that is thoroughly mixed, add in your cooled beef and onions and mix all of that up until it’s well combined. Lots of stirring going on here.
Grab yourself a 13x9x2 inch glass baking dish and take 2 teaspoons of olive oil and oil it up real good, imagine the dish as a “professional wrastler” if that helps. Spread 1 1/2 cups of the tomato sauce I taught you about in the last post over the bottom of the prepared (well oiled) baking dish. Fill your Manicotti with the beef and cheese mixture. I personally find that the easiest way to do this is with my hands, some people use a pastry bag. However, for me that’s just extra shit I have to clean up and I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life. So just use your hands.
Now, arrange the stuffed Manicotti in a single layer in the baking dish and pour the remaining tomato sauce over. Feel free to add more sauce if you like, because you are indeed the John Gotti of your Manicotti!
Sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella cheese (1 1/2 cups) and the remaining Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup) over the pasta. Again, if you want more cheese…GO FOR IT! Dot the entire dish with the pieces of butter.
Bake the dish uncovered for about 30 to 35 minutes. You want it to be heated through and for the sauce to bubble on the sides of the dish. After you take it out let it cool for about 5 minutes or so.
Now you’re ready to serve it up!
There you have it, Beef & Cheese Manicotti! I just know you’re going love this recipe and it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser. If you do make this dish (and i really hope you do) let me know how it turns out in the comments below! If you have any questions feel free to comment or contact me on the contact page. I hope you enjoy this easy Italian dish and until next time, Ciao!