Welcome ‘Em Home with Meaty Cheesy Manicotti

     My boy has been gone for the last few days, down to the Rivah with a friend.  The house was so quiet without him.  To show him how happy I was to have him back, I knew immediately what the dinner menu would be.  Another Southern Living find from several years back, Meaty Cheesy Manicotti is his most requested meal (besides pizza).

     I did not grow up stuffing manicotti shells, so this dinner takes me a bit longer to concoct than I usually like to spend.  Does anyone have any stuffing tips?  Other than getting the pasta filled, the dish is straight-forward but flexible enough that you can sneak in some spinach or other chopped veggies to the meat mixture and maybe get away with it.  Unfortunately, my fifteen-year old is getting a little too sharp for that trick.  He called me on it the last time I tried slipping some spinach in under the pretext of basil.  The basic recipe calls for

  • 1 (8-ounce) package uncooked manicotti shells
  • 1/2 pound Italian sausage
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, drained
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions; rinse in cold water.  Drain.  Place in a single layer on a wire rack; set aside.

Remove casings from sausage, and discard.  Cook sausage, ground round, and onion in a large skillet, stirring until meat crumbles and is no longer pink.  Drain and set aside.

Add wine to skillet, stirring to loosen browned bits; bring to a boil.  Add whipping cream and next 3 ingredients; reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often, 15 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from heat; cover and set aside.

Combine meat mixture, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese.  Spoon mixture evenly into 12 manicotti shells; arrange shells in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.  (I scatter any extra meat mixture in between the filled shells.)

Bake, covered, at 350° for 20 minutes.  Uncover and pour cream mixture evenly over shells; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 10 more minutes.  Broil, 5 1/2 inches from heat, 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.

Serves 6.  (from Traci Meador, Hermitage, Tennessee, Southern Living FEBRUARY 2005.)

     Meaty Cheesy Manicotti is a wonderfully delicious way to welcome home your wandering family.  Enjoy!

All photos by Avad Fan.


One Comment on “Welcome ‘Em Home with Meaty Cheesy Manicotti”

  1. Anne says:

    That looks delicious! I’m definitely going to try it! As for stuffing the shells, have you tried putting the filling in a gallon size zip lock freezer bag, cutting a larger hole in a corner, and squeezing it into the tubes? It works with cheese… I wonder, if the hole is large enough, if it will work with the meaty filling.

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