I love pasta dishes, however this was the first time I had tried manicotti. Seeing the huge size of manicotti it was obvious to me that it needs to be stuffed before I do anything with it. When it came for selecting the stuffing I was dauntless enough to pick ground beef. I even made my own pasta sauce infused with aromatic herbs. After I stuffed the manicotti with the ground beef, I baked it spreading them with the pasta sauce and cheese. The aroma that spread while baking the stuffed manicotti was so alluring.
As soon as the stuffed manicotti came out of the oven, I indulged in it. It was unbelievably delicious and I fell for this dish head over heels.
- Serves: 4
- Preparation time: 45 minutes
Step 1: For making Stuffing:
- Ground beef- 1 pound
- Red pepper- 1
- Ground pepper- 1 tsp
- Salt- 2 pinches
- Olive oil- 1 tbsp
- Puree onion and red pepper in a blender.
- Place a wide non-stick cooking pan over medium heat, add olive oil.
- Add the ground beef and let it cook for few minutes.
- When the beef starts to loose its pink color, add the onion/red pepper puree and combine well.
- Cook until the beef mixture is no longer watery and is almost dry.
- Add the ground pepper, salt and combine well.
- Remove from the heat and keep aside.
Step:2 For making Pasta Sauce:
- Tomato Sauce, low sodium- 2 cans (8 ounce each)
- Thyme- 1 sprig
- Rosemary- 5-6 leaves
- Dried basil- 1/2 tsp
- Dried Oregano- 1/2 tsp
- Worcestershire sauce- 1 tbsp
- Heat a sauce pan over medium heat.
- Pour the tomato sauce, add the rest of the ingredients and let the sauce come to a boil.
- Simmer for few minutes and remove from the stove.
Step:3 Cooking Manicotti:
- Manicotti- 12 no’s
- Salt- 1/2 tsp
- Fill a large pan 3/4 th with water, let the water come to a rolling boil.
- Add the salt and put the manicotti into the boiling water.
- Cook the manicotti till it becomes tender.
- Make sure not to over cook the manicotti.
- Drain the water and keep aside the cooked manicotti.
Step:4 How to stuff the manicotti:
- Gently fill each cooked manicotti shell with 3-4 tbsp of ground beef mixture.
Step: 5 Baking the stuffed manicotti:
- Parmesan cheese, grated- to spread over the manicotti
- Preheat the oven to 350F (180 C).
- Grease a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
- Place the stuffed manicotti as one layer on the baking sheet.
- Spread the pasta sauce over the manicotti and generously spread the cheese over it.
- As you can see, I didn’t spread the pasta sauce all over the manicotti.
- Cover the baking sheet with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Uncover and bake for another 5 minutes more.
- Enjoy with your family and friends!
- You could add the chopped onions and red pepper without pureeing it.
- Leftover stuffed manicottis tastes even more delicious the next day.