“I don’t like manicotti,” said my obviously unhappy husband. I knew that, but I had a surprise up my sleeve. “It’s beef manicotti,” I replied, and suddenly he looked a bit more pleased. But not as pleased as he was after he took the first bite. Home run.
First, I made a batch of marinara using my favorite (and really the only one I use) marinara recipe.
Filling for the shells:
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 t. salt
- 1 t. oregano
- 1/2 t. basil
- 1/4 t. pepper
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 egg
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1 cup mozzarella
- 1 cup marinara
Brown the ground beef with the onion, herbs, salt, and pepper. Allow to cool slightly. Mix in the remaining ingredients.
Cook 1 box manicotti shells in salted boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain and allow to cool slightly.
Place a layer of marinara on the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Stuff the shells with the meat mixture and place them in a single layer on top of the marinara. Top the whole thing with a ladle or two of marinara, another cup of mozzarella, and a cup of grated parmesan. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
And then you get this:
Delicious man-friendly, meat-filled manicotti along side one of my favorite salads — Italian Chopped Salad by Giada De Laurentiis
- 4 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cups finely chopped romaine lettuce (from 1/2 head)
- 2 cups finely chopped radicchio (from 1/2 large head)
- 1/2 cup drained canned white beans, rinsed and patted dry
- 8 oil-packed sun-dried tomato halves, drained and chopped
Whisk the vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper in a large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil to blend. Add the lettuce, radicchio, beans, and sun-dried tomatoes. Toss to coat. Season the salad, to taste, with more salt and pepper, and serve.
Delicious dinner, plus I had enough meat mixture and marinara leftover to make an 8×8 lasagna. Score!