Monday, August 27, 2007

Mama's Manicotti

This is a yummy change from lasagna and one of Madison's favorites. (Note: There would be a picture here but Madison was so excited and starving that I hurried to get dinner on the table and forgot!)

1 (8 oz) package manicotti shells, uncooked
1 lb lean ground beef, turkey, or chicken
2 cups (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
4 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 t dried oregano leaves
1/2 t salt
1/8 t ground black pepper
1 3/4 cups (14 oz) spaghetti sauce

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Cool in a single layer on wax paper. Do NOT leave in colander in sink or they will stick together and they will be very difficult to get apart without tearing. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In large skillet, brown meat. I usually put half of the oregano, salt, and pepper on the meat as it is browning but you can skip that step if you prefer. Stir together meat, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, eggs, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, onion, oregano, salt, and pepper. Fill each cooled pasta tube with about 1/4 cup filling using a teaspoon. Spray a glass 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray and spread a thin layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom. Place filled pasta in dish and cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and additional Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes of until hot and bubbly.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes

TIP OF THE DAY: When a recipe calls for a small amount of diced onion- instead of cutting up part of an onion and throwing the rest away, use frozen diced onion. Frozen, diced onion can be found in the freezer section and I always keep a bag on hand to use when a recipe needs a small amount of diced onion. A real time saver!

Tomorrow's Daily Special: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies