Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Manicotti made easy!

This is one of those meals that takes a bit of time (but worth the effort!). It's a nice big recipe so it's possible to have one for dinner tonight, and put one in the freezer for later! LOVE those kinds of meals. One mess, two meals! I make both the meat & cheese filling... and put a mixture of the two in a 9x13 pan. Kids do prefer the cheese ones though.

Manicotti with meat filling
18 manicotti noodles (I never use these, they break far too easily! I just use lasagna noodles instead, cut them in half after they're cooked, spread mixture on & roll them up - WAAAAY easier!)
1-1/2 lbs. ground beef
2 TBPS. vegetable oil
3 slices of bread, crumbled
2/3 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp. chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
dash pepper
28oz. (796mL) spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
Cook noodles according to package. Brown meat & drain. Combine bread & milk. Allow to stand 2 min. Add cooked meat & remaining ingredients except spaghetti sauce & Parmesan cheese. Fill noodles.
Manicotti with CHEESE filling:
18 Manicotti noodles (lasagna noodles)
3 cups ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 TBSP. chopped parsley
2 eggs, beaten
dash nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
dash pepper
28oz (796mL) Spaghetti Sauce
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese

Cook noodles according to package. Coming all filling ingredients except spaghetti sauce and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Fill noodles.
Divide 1-1/2 cup spaghetti sauce in bottom of two 9"x13" pans. (yes, if you're using BOTH fillings you can get up to FOUR pans out of this!) Arrange filled manicotti (or rolled lasagna noodles) in each pan in a single layer.
Pour over remaining sauce.
Divide the 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese & sprinkle on top.
Bake COVERED, in 350 oven, 45 min, or until thoroughly heated.
Nice big salad, warm crusty bread.... YUM! Leftovers are great too. This is a great time to share as well. Have the gang over for dinner with this one, send a pan to someone you know who's not feeling well, a friend who's just had a baby.... and you'll still have some in your freezer for a busy day in the future!

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