This was my first stuffed pasta recipe I learned 5-6 years ago, and it has been a staple in my household whenever we wanted something hearty in the form of pasta. I have to admit, this dish does take some time to make but it’s totally worth it! Plus, it can feed a lot of people if you are casually entertaining. The trick to stuffing these tube pastas quickly and maximize the stuffing in each tube is with a demi spoon. You can cram a lot in there and in a flash. Add a simple salad and you have yourself a meal!
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 1 onion, chopped
- olive oil for cooking
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to season
- 1 (8 ounce package, 14 count) box of manicotti
- 1 (15 ounce) container of ricotta cheese
- 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese, divided
- a large handful of fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
- 1 (26 ounce) jar of marinara sauce
- 2 tablespoons of butter, cut into small pieces
In a medium skillet over medium high heat, add ground beef, onion and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until beef browns and onions are soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add in minced garlic. Remove from heat and let it cool.
Cook manicotti in a large pot of salted boiling water until slightly soft, about 5-7 minutes. Brush a large baking sheet with some olive oil and transfer the manicotti from the pot to the oiled baking sheet to cool.
In a large bowl combine ricotta cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup of grated parmesan, parsley and meat mixture. Stir to combine.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Brush olive oil in a 9″ x 13″-inch glass baking dish. Spoon 1/4 of the jar marinara sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Fill manicotti with the meat and cheese mixture and arrange the stuffed pasta in a single layer in the baking dish. Spoon the remaining marinara sauce over. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, then the remaining 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese over the stuffed pasta. Dot the entire dish with butter pieces. Bake the manicotti uncovered for 30 minutes and boil it on high for 1-4 minutes to brown the top. Let the manicotti stand for 10 minutes before serving. Optional: sprinkle some chopped parsley on top before serving.
Source: Giada De Laurentiis