Thursday, December 20, 2012

Stuffed Manicotti

Hello to all my faithful readers and hopefully some new ones. I want to say thank you all. This new season in life has begun with great flare. I started this blog as an outlet for my passion, cooking and photography. I had no idea it would grow so fast and that it would be my new addiction  This is my 180th post!! How fabulous is that? In six months time I have met a group of wonderful friends, my foodie friends, been honored by guest hosting on several blogs and am a regular contributor to the Daily Dish. Thank you all, Merry Christmas and may 2013 be an even brighter year.

Now on to the recipe.

I wanted to do something a little different. Something more involved. I sat around thinking and came up with stuffed manicotti. That may not be involved to some or even different. I however have only made it once and I was 17 years old. Trust me, that was NOT yesterday.

Here is how I set about making this dish.

1 lb ground chuck
2 tsp each: Italian seasoning
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 TBSP tomato paste
1/2 cup cooking red wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 can each (12 oz size) tomato sauce
diced tomatoes/Italian style
4 long sweet salad bell peppers, red and orange
2 TBSP Parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup low fat ricotta cheese
1 box manicotti shells

  • In a pan cook the ground chuck, crumble well. Use 1 tsp of each spice in the meat. When done, set aside.
  • Next cook the peppers, onion, garlic in the EVOO. Scraping off the bits to flavor the vegetables. 
  • Remove and set aside with the meat.
  • Next de-glaze the pan with the cooking red wine.
  • Now add the cans of tomatoes, sauce and paste. Stir well and add the remaining spices. 
  • Allow this to cook down and add the broth.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Take 1/2 cup of sauce and add to the meat and vegetable mixture. Also stir in the Parmesan and ricotta cheese. Mix well.
  • Once the sauce has thickened you are ready to put this dish together.
  • Stuff the manicotti tubes/shells with the meat/cheese mixture. 
  • Place enough sauce in the bottom of a baking dish so the noodles won't stick.
  • Place the maincotti on top of the sauce and pour remaining sauce on top. Do Not cook the noodles first.
  • Bake this for 1 hour on 350 degrees. The last 45 minutes sprinkle shredded mozzarella on top if you desire. I did a small amount.
  • Serve with garlic bread and a salad.
ENJOY! This was a big hit with my guys. It was so rich and delicious. Most definitely a repeat.