Beef Manicotti is a savory stuffed pasta baked in a casserole dish. The manicotti is stuffed with ricotta cheese, fresh parsley, seasoned ground beef, and a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
The great thing about manicotti is that it seems really difficult to prepare but it’s really not. For this version, we are going to brown off our hamburger and onions and season the meat with salt and pepper. Then set it aside and allow it to cook slightly. Meanwhile, we can mix the fresh ricotta and parmesan cheese together with the parsley in a large bowl. When the meat is cooled slightly, add it into the cheese and stir to combine.
Next, I use a disposable zip-top bag and I load the cheese mixture into the bag and snip off one corner. If you prefer, you can use a spoon or a piping bag to accomplish this same job.
As a kid, my aunt would have me sit at the table and fill the shells with a spoon. I have to tell you, I always hated that tedious job.
Place the stuffed manicotti shells into a baking dish prepared with 1 cup of sauce. This helps keep the shells from sticking to the bottom of the pan. When I’m done filling the shells, I put the leftover cheese mixture into the open spaces of the dish. My daughter loves this extra little bit of baked cheese filling.
Cover the pasta evenly with the other 2 cups of sauce and then layer the top with mozzarella and Parmesan. Place the casserole in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
Let the pasta rest 10 minutes before serving. It makes serving easier and neater after it has cooled slightly.
- 1 medium onion , coarsely chopped
- 1 pound ground beef
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 14 (8-ounce package) manicotti
- 1 (16-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta
- 1-1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- 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, 1/2 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.
- Spread 1 cup of marinara over the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking 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 top with mozzarella cheese, then the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan over the stuffed pasta. 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 before serving.
recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis.