Like most people, I have a few recipes that I keep in my back pocket that I know I can turn to that are crowd favorites. Giada Di Laurentiis’ Beef and Cheese Manicotti is one of those staple dishes for me.
This crowd favorite feeds everyone, and heartily! I have fed this to family and friends and my favorite reaction of this recipe by far has been my dads when he nearly ate half of the dish in one go! I’ve never seen that man eat so much pasta before, but I was happy to have fed him something he liked. 🙂
Think of this recipe like lasagna filling stuffed into a pasta tube, i.e. heaven. It’s a simple dish when made with some of my shortcuts, but I follow Giada’s recipe because “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Let me show you how it’s done!
First, we’re going to be pulling out a bag of one-pound freezer ground beef. It is one of my best tips and tricks and makes dishes like this cook soo much quicker because the onions and browning part is done.
Now for the cheese. Oh so glorious, cheese.
These delicate pasta tubes, are packaged in plastic trays. I always reach for the box that’s at the back of the pasta aisle because I have gotten boxes with plenty of crushed manicottis, but this one, low and behold, had all perfect manicotti.
That’s never happened to me before. But when they do break, it’s not a problem, you just cook it like normal and then just fill it as if it were fine, it’s all going to be baked anyway so who would know that it broke. It’ll just be our secret.
Now, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
I used to fill these guys by taking a spoon and literally shoving filling into the pasta but that was so messy and time consuming. Please only make it using this zip top bag method, it was a revelation for me to figure out.
When you’re ready to cook the pasta, heat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 30-35 minutes.
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 pound ground beef
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 14 (8-ounce package) manicotti
- 1 (15-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
- Heat a heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, onion and ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until the meat browns and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and cool.
- Brush 1 teaspoon of oil over a large baking sheet. Cook the manicotti in a large pot of boiling salted water until slightly softened, but still very firm to the bite, about 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the manicotti from the pot to the oiled baking sheet and cool.
- Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, 1½ to 2 cups mozzarella cheese, ½ cup Parmesan, and parsley. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper to taste, and mix. Stir the cooled meat mixture into the cheese mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Brush the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Spoon 1½ cups of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Fill the manicotti with the cheese-meat mixture. Arrange the stuffed pasta in a single layer in the prepared dish and spoon the remaining sauce over.
- Sprinkle the remaining 1½ cups of mozzarella cheese, then the remaining ½ cup of Parmesan over the stuffed pasta. Dot entire dish with the butter pieces. Bake the manicotti uncovered until heated through and the sauce bubbles on the sides of the dish, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let the manicotti stand 5 minutes and serve.
- Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
- Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/beef-and-cheese-manicotti-recipe.html?oc=linkback
I hope you guys try out this delicious recipe! It will definitely be a crowd pleaser whenever you serve it!