The Great Stuffed Manicotti Recipe

 

Everyone wants to look like a wizard in the kitchen, but unfortunately, we often don't have the training to be able to pull it off. So, when a recipe that can do just that comes along, we can't help but pass it along to all that we know. Well, here is just one such recipe that is going to have you looking like the greatest thing in the kitchen since sliced bread.

Ingredients and materials needed:

  • 1 box Manicotti
  • 1/2 pound extra lean ground beef (can substitute with other meats if desired)
  • 1-1/2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup fat free ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1-3/4 cups diced zucchini
  • 8 slightly beaten egg whites
  • 1/4 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 3/4 teaspoon oregano leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 14 ounce jar of spaghetti sauce
  • Pastry bag, plastic Zip-Loc bag, or sandwich bag
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 9 x 3 x 2 glass baking dish
  • Large skillet
  • Pair of scissors
  • Aluminum foil

Begin by cooking the pasta according to the directions on the back of the package, and once completed drain the noodles. After you have completely drained the noodles, allow them to cool on a single layer of aluminum foil.

While the pasta is cooling, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of your glass baking dish by using the cooking spray on the bottom of it, and don't be afraid to be generous with the spray. You do not want the noodles and sauce sticking to the pan. Next, take the large skillet and brown your meat. Remember, while this recipe suggests using ground beef you should feel free to substitute other meats if desired. If you feel like having chicken manicotti instead of beef, why simply use chicken instead.

After you have browned the meat, you should stir together your meat, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, and all the other ingredients except for the spaghetti sauce. Once you have finished making this mixture, take your pastry, or plastic sandwich bag, and place as much of the filling into it as you can. After doing this, set it aside for a moment.

You now need to spread a thin layer of spaghetti sauce along the bottom of your greased baking dish. Now, collect the by now cooled pasta, filling bag, and your scissors. Keeping the open end of the bag firmly closed, and providing constant gentle pressure on it so that it appears to be ballooning slightly, take your scissors and snip off one of the corners. Use this tool to help fill each pasta tube with the cheese and meat filling you should be able to put about 1/4 cup of the meat filling into each tube.

Place each filled manicotti tube into the prepared baking dish, till you have completely filled the bottom. Pour the remaining sauce onto the pasta, and if desired sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and a little Parmesan cheese on top of the dish. Now, cover the dish with aluminum foil and place into the oven to bake for 45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

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