Beef and Cheese Manicotti
This is something I should always have in the freezer. It's such a great meal to have on hand, can feed a crowd, and is usually something everyone loves. Plus, the only things you need to make it a complete meal are garlic bread and salad.
Source: Giada De Laurentiis
4 t. olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 lb. ground beef
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (8-oz. pkg.) manicotti
1 (15-oz.) container whole-milk ricotta
3 c. shredded mozzarella
1 c. grated Parmesan
2 T. chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 c. marinara sauce
2 T. butter, cut into pieces
Heat a heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 t. of the olive oil, onion 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 t. 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 c. mozzarella cheese, 1/2 c. 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 t. of oil over a 13"x9" glass baking dish. Spoon 1 1/2 c. 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 c. of mozzarella cheese, then the remaining 1/2 c. 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 30-35 minutes. Let the manicotti stand 5 minutes and serve.