Today I am going to take about manicotti. LOVE IT! I got this recipe from Sally (but she can't say I'm recipe stealing this time because I know for a fact she got the recipe from her mother-in-law, who probably got it from someone who got it from someone and so on. It's one of my favorite recipes and makes a regular appearance in my meal plan rotation. I try sharing this recipe often but usually get the response "I don't make manicotti because it's too hard to stuff" or something to that effect.
I'd hate to think anyone was missing out on enjoying a meal so yummy simply because they can't stuff the shells. Hopefully today we can solve this problem.
Let's start with the recipe.
1 box Manicotti Noodles (that's 14 shells)
1 jar spaghetti sauce (or more if you like a lot of sauce)
1/2 - 1 lb ground beef (or try Italian sausage if you are feeling daring)
2 C. cottage cheese
2 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 C. shredded cheddar cheese
Parmesan cheese (I don't measure I just dump, but probably around 1/4 -1/2 Cup)
Preheat oven to 350*
In a large pot boil manicotti noddles for 9 minutes. (Yes, I said 9 . The box says ten but if you cook your noodles too long they fall apart and are impossible to stuff. Cook them a little less and they are a little stiffer and easier to stuff. Trust me. )
While noodles are cooking brown your ground beef and add the spaghetti sauce. Set aside.
Combine all the cheeses and the eggs and mix together well.
Okay when your noodles are done cooking get your 9x13 pan ready by spraying it with cooking spray. Now you are ready to start stuffing your noodles.
It is inevitable that one or more of your noodles will be split by the time it is done cooking and will look something like this.
When this happens you will need to be even more careful. Always put the split end down at the bottom. If you try to start stuffing the noodle at the split end it will only make it worse. So start on the opposite end and be careful. Once it's stuffed place it in your pan like all the rest and it will be just fine.
In your pan you should be able to fit two rows of 6 across and then two more noodles laying the opposite direction at the bottom. (sorry I don't have a picture of this).
Cover your noodles with your spaghetti and meat mixture. Cover your pan with foil. Bake at 350* for 30 minutes covered. Take off the foil and cover with Parmesan or mozzarella cheese if desired and continue baking uncovered for 15 more minutes.
This is such a good recipe and makes great leftovers. I hope you enjoy.