Thursday, April 02, 2015

Manicotti

I made this recipe for my brother and sister-in-law recently so they could eat it or freeze (they ate it). I only made half the recipe, so I got two entrees (we ate the other).  My biggest issue with manicotti is that I think the ricotta/cottage cheese is always too overpowering, so I "fixed" that here by fixing in meat. I really liked the result.  This was very simple and would freeze really well! 

Manicotti
Modified from Fix, Freeze and Feast
 
1 (24 oz) container of cottage cheese (3 cups)
2 lbs hamburger, cooked and crumbled (you can also use Italian sausage here...I used my father's Italian moose burger)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 cups shredded mozzarella (about 12 oz)
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 (8 oz) boxes manicotti (12-14 shells per box), uncooked
12 cups Basic Red Sauce (I used the small batch)
 
Mix cottage cheese, cooked meat, eggs, mozzarella, Parmesan, salt and pepper in a bowl.  Stuff into manicotti shells.  (I got slightly more filled manicotti than they did....I think the issues it that I halved the cottage cheese and replaced it with meat and the meat takes up more space). 
 
Spread 1/2 cup of red sauce in the bottom of each baking dish (you should have four, 8 by 8 each).  Place 6-7 (or 1/4...as I said, I had a few more) manicotti in each dish.  Divide the rest of the red sauce among the four dishes. 
 
Wrap in plastic wrap.  Top with foil and freeze.
 
To Cook Frozen Entrée
Thaw in refrigerator overnight or bake frozen (I'd be warned on frozen...the last time I tried to bake from frozen one of their dishes it took WAY longer than they said...like by TWO HOURS).  Preheat oven to 350.  Remove plastic wrap and foil, then replace foil.  Bake for 45 minutes if thawed, 1 hour if frozen.  Bake until noodles are tender. 
 
Makes 4 entrees, 4 servings each. 

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