Recipe: Italian Manicotti

Who doesn't love Italian food?

Since I couldn't think of a single person in my list of aquaintances, I'm bringing you an Italian classic recipe today (courtesy of "Essential Casserole Recipes").


Yield: 6 servings

1 pound lean ground round

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 onions, chopped

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 8-ounce package fresh mushrooms, sliced

1 teaspoon fennel seed

2 teaspoons basil

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 10-ounce packages frozen chopped spinach, chopped and drained well

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, divided

2 cups small-curd cottage cheese, drained

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon pepper

14 manicotti shells, cooked al dente

In a large skillet, brown ground beef, then add garlic and onion, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes and drain. Add tomatoes and liquid, mushrooms, fennel seed, basil, salt an pepper, and stir to mix. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes; stir occasionally.

In a separate bowl, stir together spinach, half the parmesan, cottage cheese, nutmeg, and pepper. In a sprayed 9X13-inch baking dish, spoon about one-third of beef sauce evenly over bottom of dish.

Fill uncooked manicotti shells with spinach mixture and place on beef layer in baking dish. Repeat until all spinach mixture has been used in manicotti shells.

pout remaining beef sauce evenly over manicotti shells to cover. Sprinkle remaining parmesan cheese over top. Cover and bake at 350 for 1 hour 30 minutes or until shells are tender.