It may come as no surprise that I give you another pasta dish. But if you try any pasta dish that I've made, let this be on your list.
Oh my, is it fantastic! It's a bit of work to put together, but the result is amazing. Brian took a few bites and said "Oh wow. Oh wow. This is a DEFINITE make again!" Even after we were full, we kept eating it.
To stuff the pasta, you can do one of two things. You can either place the stuffing mixture into a large Ziploc, cut of one of the corners and use it as a piping bag. I tried this and could not make it work. So I just used a spoon and pushed it down with my fingers. It's the messy route, but it worked for me.
Beef and Cheese Manicotti
Source: Giada as adapted by Elizabeth's Edible
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 pound lean 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, sausage and ground beef. 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 garlic, 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. 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 to 40 minutes. Let the manicotti stand 5 minutes and serve.