Manicotti are pasta tubes that can be stuffed with meat, cheese or vegetables. This recipe features a classic meat filling.
Manicotti con Carne
- 1 pound manicotti pasta
- 2 Tbs butter
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 pound mortadella, minced
- 1 pound ground beef (about 80% lean)
- freshly ground, black pepper
- 1 cup canned, whole, peeled tomatoes, with their juice, coarsley chopped
- 1 egg
- 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 cup ricotta cheese (whole milk)
- 1 1/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
- balsamella sauce
- Cook the pasta till just before al dente.
- Once they are cooked remove gently and set aside to cool.
- Using two sauce pans, put 1 Tbs butter and 1 Tbs olive oil in each pan, over a medium-low heat.
- Put half the onion in each pan and cook until it is a golden color.
- Add half the ground beet to each saucepan and cook till it has lost its raw color. Crumble the beef as you stir.
- Add salt and black pepper.
- Add the tomatoes to one of the pans.
- Once this pan starts to boil, reduce the heat to a light simmer.
- Cook until the tomatoes have reduced and seperated from the butter. This will take about 40 minutes. This is your sauce.
- Cook the meat in the other pan for just a few minutes after it has lost its raw color. Remove from the heat.
- Put this meat in a mixing bowl.
- When this meat is cooled, add the mortadella, egg, nutmeg, ricotta, and 3/4 cup of grated cheese.
- Mix well. This is your filling.
- Add about 6 Tbs of the balsamella sauce to the meat filling, mixing well.
- Cover the bottom of a baking pan with a thin layer of balsamella sauce. Once you stuff the manicotti place them in a single layer in the pan.
- Stuff the manicotti with the meat filling. (See note)
- Cover the top of the manicotti with the meat sauce and the rest of the balsamella sauce, make certain that all the pasta is well covered.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
- Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes, or until a light golden crust forms on top.
- Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Note: One of the easiest ways to stuff manicotti is to place the filling in a resealable plastic bag, cut off a corner (about 1 inch). This make a nice bag that you can use to squeeze the filling into tubes of pasta.
Looking for a great dinner party recipe? Try Neapolitan Macaroni Timbale.