Friday, November 14, 2008

Beef and Cheese Manicotti

Cook Time: 40 min
Level: Intermediate
Yield: 6 servings


* 4 teaspoons olive oil
* 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
* 1 pound ground beef
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 14 (8-ounce package) manicotti
* 1 (15-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta
* 3 cups shredded mozzarella
* 1 cup grated Parmesan
* 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 3 cups marinara sauce
* 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces


Heat a heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon 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 teaspoon 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 to 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 cups mozzarella cheese, 1/2
cup 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 teaspoons of oil over a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass
baking dish. Spoon 1 1/2 cups 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 cups of mozzarella cheese, then the
remaining 1/2 cup 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 to 35
minutes. Let the manicotti stand 5 minutes and serve.

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