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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Beef & Cheese Manicotti

Source-Giada De Laurentiis via Food Network

I love Giada.  Her recipes are so good, and some of them are so easy.  This one takes a little bit of time, but trust me, it is well worth it.  And since it is just H and I there were lots of leftovers, which both of us love.  Especially since we both liked this recipe so much.

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 14 (8-ounce package) manicotti
  • 1 (15-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups marinara sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • Heat a heavy medium skillet over medium heat. 
  • Add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, onion and ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. 
  • Saute until the meat browns and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and cool.
  • Brush 1 teaspoon 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 to 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, and parsley. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper to taste, and mix. 
  • Stir the cooled meat mixture into the cheese mixture.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Brush the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over a 13 by 9 by 2-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 the stuffed pasta in a single layer in the prepared dish and spoon the remaining sauce over.
  • 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, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let the manicotti stand 5 minutes and serve.
Next Time- Wow is this dish good!!  H really liked it too.  It may be a bit time consuming filling the shells, but it's worth it.  Nothing needs to be changed!

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