Stuffed Manicotti

We are HUGE pasta fans in our house.  We typically eat at least one pasta dish a week and this is one of our favorites!  Making this dish is a bit time consuming so I normally make double and freeze a batch for another meal.  Don’t worry if someone doesn’t like ricotta or cottage cheese…blended in, it only adds flavor.  My daughter Kinley doesn’t even notice.  Enjoy!

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Ingredients:
1 (8 ounce) package manicotti pasta
1 pound lean ground beef or 1 Pkg. Johnsonville Ground Italian Sausage
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese or ricotta
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (32 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce

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Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cool boil pasta to half the recommended time on the package- then place ice cold water over manicotti. 20140114-121923.jpg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large skillet brown beef on medium heat. Drain and cool.  Combine beef or sausage, cottage cheese, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg and oregano. Mix well.

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Stuff shells with mixture. The key to stuffing the manicotti is by using a pastry bag or zip-lock bag (with corner cut).  Or just hold the noodle in one hand and plug the end with your fingers and stuff it with the other.

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Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Pour enough spaghetti sauce in dish to cover the bottom. Place stuffed noodles in the dish.

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Cover with spaghetti sauce and top with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Bake covered in preheated oven for 50 minutes. Enjoy!

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