Manicotti with Meat Sauce

I kinda love any meal that allows me to put cheese in a piping bag. Enter, Manicotti. This recipe calls for pasta sheets, which can be purchased at most grocers. Mine was out this week so I made “mini-manicotti” with lasagna noodles cut directly in half and rolled as usual.

Ingredients:

  • 1lb. pasta sheets
  • 1lb. lean ground beef/ ground turkey
  • 1 jar tomato sauce- I suggest Bertoli tomato basil sauce
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 15oz. tub Ricotta cheese
  • 1 c. cottage cheese
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Brown meat, garlic, and chopped onion with salt a pepper. Drain.
  2. Add back to pan, add sauce. Turn on low. *I let this simmer down at least an hour before I prepare anything else, however that is optional.
  3. In a bowl, mix ricotta, cottage cheese, and sour cream.
  4. Add basil, salt, pepper, and thyme. Mix thoroughly and chill.
  5. Boil water with a pinch of salt and cook pasta to al dente. You do not want to overcook your pasta as it will also cook slightly in the oven.
  6. Rinse pasta and let cool so you can handle it.
  7. Meanwhile, add a small layer of your meat sauce to a baking dish.
  8. Preheat oven to 400 while you prepare your manicotti.
  9. To pipe the manicotti, all you need is a large freezer bag. Open the bag and set into a cup. Fill your filling into the corner of the bag, twist at the top and secure with a rubber band.
  10. Cut the corner off with scissors, about 1/4″.
  11. Roll your pasta sheet into a roll, securing the ends to one another.
  12. Pipe filling all the way through.
  13. Lay on top of sauce in baking dish and pour remaining sauce over your manicotti.
  14. Smother in mozzarella and left over chopped basil.
  15. Cook for 40 minutes or until sides are bubbling and cheese is brown.
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