This true Italian manicotti formula is not difficult to collect and brimming with exemplary flavors. Make this solace food supper in less than 60 minutes!
Italian pasta dishes are so adaptable in light of the fact that they can be served for an easygoing family supper or for an extravagant supper date.
Like lasagna, heated manicotti consolidates delicate pasta with delightful meat, new cheddar, and a prepared red sauce.
Far and away superior, this formula can be made early and multiplied or significantly increased to take care of a group!
- Manicotti pasta shells – These are large, tube-shaped pasta shells with ridges on the outside. If needed, substitute with large lasagna noodles and roll them up after making a line of filling in the middle.
- Spaghetti sauce – I like to use my homemade marinara for this recipe, but feel free to use your favorite homemade or jarred variety.
- Ground meat – Using a combination of beef and pork creates a depth of flavor to the dish. Also, the pork adds extra fat which prevents the meat from coming out crumbly and dry.
- Mozzarella and parmesan – Always buy fresh cheese and shred it by hand, since bagged shreds contain a preservative that prevents them from melting properly. Plus, the flavor is noticeably better.
Brown the meat
Saute the onion, garlic, and ground meats in oil until there is no more visible pink.
Once browned, remove from heat and let cool.
Cook the pasta
Next, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Add the manicotti shells and cook just for 4 to 6 minutes. This keeps them firm enough to stuff, and then they’ll finish cooking when baked.
Then, drain and gently toss with olive oil so they don’t stick to each other.
Stuff the shells
Mix together the cheeses and spices, reserving some of the cheese for later.
Once well combined, fold in the meat mixture.
Next, pipe the filling into the cooked shells or spoon some onto the ends and press into the center with your fingers. Be very careful so you don’t tear the pasta.
Bake and serve
Grease a baking dish with oil, then spread a thin layer of pasta sauce along the bottom. This keeps the pasta tender so it doesn’t harden on the bottom.
Carefully lay the stuffed manicotti in the pan in a single layer and spoon the rest of the sauce over the top.
Then, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and top with small cubes of butter.
Bake until the cheese is bubbly and browned, then rest for a few minutes before serving.
- Storage – Cover the baked manicotti or transfer to an airtight container before placing in the refrigerator. Use within 3 to 5 days or cover and freeze for up to 1 to 2 months.
- Reheating – For best results, bake leftovers with a little extra pasta sauce. Or, heat in the microwave until warmed through.
- Piping the filling – It’s easy to make your own piping bag with a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Just add the filling, then snip off a bottom corner and squeeze from the opposite side. For best results, fill half the shell from one side before finishing from the other side.
- Make ahead – Prepare the recipe up to the point of baking, then cover and refrigerate up to 24 hours in advance. Let the pan sit on the counter for about 1 hour to bring it to room temperature, then bake as directed.