Friday, November 9, 2012

Beef Manicotti

Let me start out by saying that beef manicotti is one of my daughter and hubby's favorite dinners. They both request it frequently, and to be honest, I make it different every time! However, there are a few "staples" that I use each time so I thought I would share.

First, I boil a half box of manicotti, about 7 noodles. If you have a larger number of people to fill, use the whole box but for us it makes sense to split the meal throughout the month. I cook al dente, about 6 minutes, and drain. However, I just discovered that you don't need to cook them ahead of time - all preference!

Brown your meat (1lb if you're using the whole box, I use .5lb) - I season with salt, pepper, basil, Italian seasoning, onion and garlic powder, and oregano (that I can think of, but usually I just open my spice cupboard and pull whatever smells good out). In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

I like to add a bit of cream cheese, probably 4 oz or so for making half the box.

Oh, here's my favorite tip with browning meat - use foil to line a small bowl and drain your grease in there! Then once it's hard (can freeze to speed that up) it's easy to ball up and throw out - plus nothing to scrub!

Coat the bottom of your dish with some spaghetti sauce.

Add mozzarella cheese - I never pay attention to how much, but I'd guess I use maybe a cup?

Usually I also add Parmesan cheese and a spoonful of spaghetti sauce.

Fill your manicotti noodles with the mixture and line 'em up in your dish.

Add spaghetti sauce, cheese, and some mushrooms on top! After finding out I don't have to pre-cook the noodles, I use a lot more spaghetti sauce in the pan so it's up to you what your family would prefer. Mine enjoy it either way.

Bake for about 45 mins to an hour or until heated through. Serve with salad and breadsticks! YUM!

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

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