Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Manicotti with Bolognese Sauce

This is my first time making both Manicotti and Bolognese sauce.....and I'm so glad I tried it.  YUM!  It's so nice to have new ideas to add to my family dinners instead of always making spaghetti and meatballs!  The kids really loved it too.  It's a little time consuming but defnitely worth the effort.


Bolognese Sauce:
1 cup of onions, finely chopped ( I used frozen chopped onions)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup water
1 cup jarred pasta sauce
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 - 1 lb box of Manicotti shells
1 - 16 oz container of Ricotta Cheese
1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley
1 egg
1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup of parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper


Cook onions and garlic in oil in a 6- to 8-quart heavy pot or large saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.   Add beef and cook over moderately high heat, stirring and breaking up lumps, until no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, milk, wine, water, and pasta sauce and gently simmer, covered, until sauce is thickened, 20 - 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper and remove from heat. (Sauce may be made 2 days ahead and cooled, uncovered, before chilling, covered. Frozen, it keeps for 1 month).

Spread a little bit of sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish and set aside.

Meanwhile, cook manicotti shells in boiling water according to package directions.  In a small bowl mix ricotta cheese, egg, parsley, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and put ricotta mixture in a pastry bag (with no tip) or a heavy duty ziploc bag.   Snip of end of pastry/ziploc bag and carefully squeeze mixture into each manicotti shell to fill (do not overfill)  Each shell should have about 3 tablespoons of ricotta mixture.  Place filled shells in sauced casserole dish and top with the rest of the bolognese sauce. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese on top if desired and bake in 350 degree F. oven for 40 minutes.

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