Friday, February 11, 2011

Beef, Sausage and Cheese Manicotti

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My mom was out of town the other weekend, so I decided to be a good daughter/sister/girlfriend and make my dad, younger brother and boyfriend some dinner. Then I was stuck. What would three grown men want? Surely not something I would make myself for dinner. This would take some serious thought.

I flipped through my recipe binder for about a half hour before it hit me. Beef. Sausage. Cheese. Pasta. If this isn't a true "man's man" meal, then I don't know what is!

I started simmering some marinara sauce and got to work. It takes quite a bit of time (especially if you are making your own sauce), but the end result is worth the wait. I actually thought it was pretty fun stuffing the pasta with the filling, too (yes, I find joy from little things such as stuffing manicotti shells). In the end I got great reviews from the men, which makes this an A+ in my book!

If you're looking to make your significant other something special for dinner this upcoming Valentine's Day, I would highly recommend this dish. And they will thank you (hopefully with something sparkly) as well!

Mix together the cheese mixture and the cooked meat mixture.

Let the manicotti shells cool on a baking sheet before filling. They should still be somewhat firm (this is crucial for when you are stuffing them with the filling).

Place mixture in a zip lock bag. It helps to turn down the sides of the bag.

Squeeze out the air and close bag. Snip a generous size portion of the corner.

Lay the stuffed manicotti shells in the prepared dish. Top with sauce, cheese and butter....cook and serve!

Finished product!


  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. pork sausage, removed from casing
  • Salt and pepper
  • 14 manicotti shells (1 8-oz. package)
  • 1 (15 oz.) container whole-milk ricotta
  • 3 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups marinara sauce (homemade or store bought)
  • 2 tbsp. 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 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 4-6 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 in a large bowl.  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 13x9 inch glass baking dish.  Spoon 1-1/2 cups of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Fill 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 the top.

Sprinkle the remaining 1-1/2 cups of Mozzarella cheese, then the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan over the stuffed pasta. Dot the 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.

1 comment:

  1. I tasted the leftovers (TWO) when I came home along with the meatballs and they were delicious! I have never stuffed my own manicotti but these were great. I'm so proud of you!KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.


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