Thursday, August 13, 2009

"Stuff" It !!

When I went home to New Orleans a few weeks ago I made a meal of stuffed shells for my entire family to enjoy. My sister had just had her new baby and was on maternity leave. I spent the day with her and her children cooking in her gorgeous kitchen for our huge family. Everyone came over as they finished their work day and dined together. It was great! I loved having the whole group in one house enjoying the fruits of my labor. We eat together often, but it is always something my mom has whipped up on her own. It was fun to be in charge of cooking the dinner for once. The stuffed shells were such a great meal to feed a large group that I figured I better add a few more stuffed pastas to my repertoire before I move back home. This one was even better than the stuffed shells, I am so glad I now have it in my arsenal.

Beef, Sausage and Cheese Manicotti
Adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound 50% less fat Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage
  • 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 and onion. Cook until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic, ground beef and sausage. 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 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 using a zip lock bag with a generous sized snip in the corner.

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 35-40 minutes. Let the manicotti stand 5 minutes and serve.

Click Here for My Adapted Printable Recipe


Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Mmm... I love stuffed pasta, and I love the combo of beef, sausage, and cheese! Looks so tasty!

Tiffiny Felix said...

Op! Jen stole my comment. So ditto what she said :) Yummy! Beautiful pictures of the finished dish, too ;)

Gabriela said...

These look very appetizing. What lovely food photography too!

the happy family said...

looks delicious!

michelle said...

I'm adding this to my list to try, looks great!

Jennifer said...

These are just GREAT!!!

Victor said...

I just made cannelloni a few days ago and wanted to find a new recipe for today's collective cooking because I still have a dozen cannellonis left. Looks good.

Kerstin said...

This is the perfect pasta to serve to a crowd! I have some extra ricotta in the fridge, so maybe I'll use it to make manicotti this week.

Spryte said...

Those look so yummy!!

Natalie said...

I LOVE MANICOTTI. this looks great- can't wait to try it with the jimmy dean sausage. i'm glad you stuffed yours the smart way! screw trying to spoon that stuff in there!

AmberKoren said...

I read your blog daily. I made this last night and it was to die for!!! My Italian Mom would be very proud! I didn't use sausage and I substituted cream cheese for ricotta. My husband isn't a fan of ricotta, what's wrong w/ him!!! Anyways, thank you for the awesome meal! I look forward to trying some of your other dinner delights!

Lisa said...

I am also from Louisiana! I am a Cajun and also love to cook!
I can't wait to try this recipe! It looks so good and the pictures are great! I can't seem to find a way to print out this recipe without printing out the whole 11 pages. Is there a "print only recipe" tab to click on?
Thanks for all the Great Recipes!

Unknown said...

I hate store bought Manicotti--Italians usually make them from scratch--They are soooooo better tasting,easier to fill& bake quicker too. Here's my recipe & they're called "Crespelles" 2 c flour, 2 lrg. eggs, 1 t. salt--mix with whisk & add enough water (1 1/2 to 2 c)or until you have a thin batter--(enough to dip your fingers in & it still holds on)--I get out my smallest stick free frying pan--put the heat on the lowest it will go using my highest BTU burner--spray the pan with a little Pam or take a paper towel & rub a little shortening around. When you just start to see the pan smoke, pour in about 1/3 cup of batter--lift & swirl it around the entire pan to form a thin pancake-it may take a couple of swirls around--then put it back on the burner watch it go from shiny to dull very quickly(a min. or so)--time to turn it over using a icing spatula--again about a minute or so on the flip side & it's done--Lift out with the spatula & put on a sheet of saran wrap & keep making the Crespelles & stacking them until all the batter is gone or you can even double it for more.It's Ok if they are a little brown, they
re still good. Have your favorite sauce & filling all made--put some sauce in you baking dish--fill the Crespelles by making a line of filling across the entire center of each pancake--now tuck & roll & place each one after the other in the baking pan--you can actually push them lightly together to fit more as you go--top with sauce, Mozzarella,Parmesan cheese,granulated garlic, & oregano--bake a 350 degrees for about 30 min or until cheese is slightly brown--once you make these(& they freeze beautifully unfilled & stacked or hold up to a week in the frig so you can have them made ahead of time)The taste is awesome & I'll never buy & go through the pain in the butt messy filling time. Try them,you'll agree--if you want you can even add a little olive oil to the batter or an extra egg yolk--it's yours now. Let me know how you like them or if I forgot to state something in the recipe

Elizabeth said...


I added a link at the bottom of the post for a text only printing option. Enjoy! And by the way, Happy to have another Cajun as a reader - Welcome!

Unknown said...

This was so very good! I've made it twice in 2 weeks and hubby said I could make it again "anytime" I want to. Thank you!