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BellaOnline's American Regional Cuisine Editor

Italian Enchiladas Recipe

My husband grew up with a mom who made enchiladas from scratch and I knew I couldn’t compete with that.

So, since we love enchiladas, I often try to tweak different enchilada recipes – that way they are purposely not in competition with the ones that his mother used to make.

We like this one; it is a bit different with more of an Italian taste:

• 12 corn tortillas (we like the white corn ones)
• 1 ˝ pounds lean ground beef
• 1-8ounce can or bottle of sliced mushrooms, finely chopped
• 1 packet of onion soup mix (1.0 ounces)
• 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh parsley
• Salt and pepper
• 1 ˝ cups ricotta cheese
• 1 can chopped black olives
• 4 ounces of cream cheese, softened
• 1 jar pasta sauce (26 ounces)
• 1 ˝ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
• 3/4 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
• Parsley sprigs for garnish

Follow these directions:

1. Turn on oven to preheat. 350 degrees F
2. Spray cooking spray on a 9x13-in baking dish
3. Using a large skillet, brown the ground beef- stir it often to make small pieces
4. Stir in the mushrooms and then the onion soup mix
5. Cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes
6. Remove from the stove
7. Stir in the chopped parsley and season to taste with the salt and pepper
8. Pour all into a large bowl to cool
9. In a medium bowl, mix with a wooden spoon or spatula the ricotta, olives and cream cheese
10. Add to the ingredients in the large bowl and continue stirring until well combined
11. Open the jar of pasta sauce and spread 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of the 9x13-in pan
12. On each tortilla spoon some of the meat and cheese mixture- down the center of the tortilla
13. Roll up the tortillas and put them in the pan on top of the sauce
14. Pour the rest of the sauce over the enchiladas
15. Sprinkle to cheeses on top
16. Cover tightly with foil
17. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the enchiladas are tender.

Garnish with fresh parsley, serve with more sour cream.

This is a great dish to make with the help of your children or grandchildren. Tell them to wash their hands and tie on an apron and then they will have fun rolling the tortillas and placing them in the pan.

It is a win-win situation: kids love to help in the kitchen and it can be some enjoyable time spent together.

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