Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tasty Tuesdays- Manicotti

I am starting a new segment, Tasty Tuesdays. I keep getting asked for my recipes, so I have decided to share them along with my tips for each one.

This is my version of Manicotti. It is super easy. It is my go to meal if I need something quick in a pinch. I will give you the complicated version and then the fast meal version.

A lot of people hate making Manicotti. I have never been able to figure it out. It is one of my favorite meals and I have always found it super easy. I discovered the hesitation a little while back. Don't buy the Manicotti pasta. They are super hard and frustrating to stuff. If you buy the jumbo shells, the process will be much faster and you won't end the meal with a head ache.

Complicated Version

What complicates this version is making homemade spaghetti sauce. This sauce takes a little while to be ready but it so worth it. Seth always raves about this sauce being the best he has ever tasted. It is not too hard to put together but must simmer for quite awhile. I often will make a huge batch of it and then freeze it. I will thaw just what I need for a certain meal.

Spaghetti Sauce

1 lb ground beef
1 Tablespoon dried onion
1/2 teaspoon dried garlic

fry together and drain

6-8 cans tomato sauce (8 ounces)
1-2 cans tomato paste
1-2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

Add salt to taste.

Bring to a boil and simmer on low for 40 minutes

After you have your fabulous homemade sauce follow this receipe and you have great Manicotti.

3 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg beaten
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley (fresh)
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1- 8 ounce package manicotti noodles

Cook noodles. Combine and fill manicotti and place in 9x13 pan with spaghetti sauce on the bottom arrange in a single layer cover with spaghetti sauce. Cover with foil and bake 25-30 minutes at 375 degrees uncover and sprinkle with additional 1 cup of mozzarella. Let stand 5 minuets.

Still want great Manicotti and you have less time of your hands?

Skip the homemade sauce. A bottle of Prego will do. Use the shells instead of the manicotti to skip some major hassle. It weirds Seth out to use an egg in Manicotti, so if I am in a major hurry I skip that as well. Skipping the egg cuts down on bake time because without it everything is already cooked you are just warming it up.

It is yummy either way. So make they way you like it. Gourmet or quick. I have uses for boths.

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