Stuffed Manicotti


Easy Stuffed Manicotti - Double Recipe

Are you looking for a classic Italian dinner recipe that’s simple to prepare and one everyone will enjoy? Italian Stuffed Manicotti is the answer. Though it sounds complicated to prepare, you’ll be surprised how easy it really is. Stuffed manicotti is very nutritious and freezes very well. Just pop it in the microwave when hungry guests unexpectedly arrive at your door or when your night is running extra long. Make your dinner time a special time with the goodness of manicotti (or large shells) and everyone will love you for it. 

Manicotti Sauce
2 pound ground meat, such as beef, sausage, veal or turkey
4 tablespoons butter

Pasta Sauce
4 tablespoons salad oil
2 medium onions, diced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
4 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
2 12-ounce cans tomato paste
4 teaspoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 teaspoons oregano leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 bay leaf

1.  Cook onion and garlic in hot salad oil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat until tender, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes.
2.  Over high heat, add tomato sauce and the rest of the ingredients over and boil.
3.  Reduce the heat to a simmer over medium-low and partially cover, cooking for 30 minutes. Throw out the bay leaf when done.

Manicotti Shells  (OR purchase pre-made pasta)
2 cup all-purpose flour
8 eggs
2 tablespoon salad oil
2 teaspoon salt
2 cup water

4 cups ricotta cheese
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 eggs
2 8-ounce packages coarsely shredded mozzarella cheese

Prepare the pasta sauce and set aside. Then on low speed, use a mixer to blend pasta shell ingredients and finish by blending for one minute on medium speed.

Lightly coat a large skillet with salad oil and heat over medium-high heat. Slowly pour a large ladle of the pasta batter into the skillet and tilt pan to cover it evenly with the batter. Let it cook only until the top is set and dry and the underside looks lightly browned, about 30 seconds. Remove it to a piece of waxed paper and repeat until all the shells are complete.

In a large skillet, cook the ground meat with the butter over medium-high heat until the meat is browned. Then slowly add in the prepared pasta sauce and heat through.

Gently pour 1/3 of the hot sauce evenly among two large roasting pans about 15 inches by 10 inches or in one larger pan. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix together all the filling ingredients, except the mozzarella cheese, until well blended. Drop a heaping tablespoon of the filling in the center of each shell and then add some mozzarella cheese. Carefully fold edges over cheese and place each shell in pan(s) with seam side down. Top with remaining sauce and bake for 30 minutes. This mouth-watering dish will produce 16 main-dish servings.

Yummy Pesto: Now and Later

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Make Ahead Pesto

This recipe is perfect for busy moms because it’s quick to make, delicious and healthy. On top of that, this simple-to-make pesto can be used to top pasta or chicken. Most pesto recipes require a lot of ingredients, but this recipe uses a few basics that you probably have in your pantry.


3 cups of fresh basil
¾ cup pine nuts
3 to 4 cloves of garlic
½ cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup olive oil

Directions:  The first step towards making this pesto is to gather your ingredients and start preparing a blender or food processor. The next step is extremely simple; all you have to do is toss the basil, pine nuts, oil, garlic and Parmesan cheese into the blender/food processor and pulse until the pesto is somewhat smooth. Then, you can serve the pesto however you like or store it in the refrigerator. This pesto can be kept in a fridge for three days in advance. If you want it a week in advance, simply freeze it and thaw it out when you need it.

Almond Pesto

This recipe gives a new take to a classic dish. Instead of using traditional pine nuts and basil, this recipe contains fresh cilantro, almonds and spinach. Mozzarella cheese gives the dish a punch of decadence. You can make this recipe a week in advance and freeze it to help it stay fresh. When you want to use it, simply reheat it and you’re good to go.


2 cups spinach
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cloves of garlic
1 cup olive oil

Directions:  Making pesto is really easy, which is why it’s the perfect recipe for busy moms. Once you gather your ingredients, toss them into a blender and pulse until the pesto reaches the perfect consistency. Some people prefer pesto to be chunky while others like it smooth.

Make Ahead Nutty Pesto Sauce


1 cup walnuts
¼ cup almonds
1 cup olive oil
3 cups oregano
2 cloves of garlic
¼ cup Italian cheese

Directions:  The first step is to gather your ingredients and take out a food processor. First, toss the walnuts and almonds in the food processor until they are finely chopped. Once the walnuts and almonds are done, add the rest of the ingredients and blend together. When you’re done, you can top the pesto with Italian cheese. You can make this recipe in advance and store it in the freezer or use it immediately to top pasta.


Company’s Coming!

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Delectable Baked Macaroni and Cheese

It can be a challenge to put an impressive homemade dish together in a pinch. The time to experiment with fancy new recipes is not when you have company coming over for dinner and the pressure is on. You should try a wholesome, hearty, and comforting dish like macaroni and cheese when you’re expecting company and you don’t want to splash a lot of cash on ingredients. The classic dish of “mac and cheese” can be given a gourmet spin by turning it into baked macaroni and cheese with an array of cheeses and serving it with sophisticated stalks of pan-roasted asparagus.This recipe for Baked Macaroni and Cheese is sure to impress your dinner guests and court compliments over how comforting and savory this dish is. Baked macaroni and cheese is a great recipe for feeding a large group of people without spending a lot of money since the main ingredient is an inexpensive box of pasta. The end result is a rich and golden dish that is pure bliss. Whipping up this creative comfort food the day before your next dinner event is sure to impress your guests and leave them feeling warm and satisfied.Delectable Baked Macaroni and Cheese (8 servings)

1 box (1lb) of uncooked macaroni
1/2 cup of butter
8 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese (cubed)
8 ounces Swiss cheese (cubed)
4 ounces Mozzarella cheese (shredded)
1 cup whole milk
Black Pepper, to taste
bread crumbs

Elbows or shells are an ideal choice for this recipe. Boil the macaroni as you normally would. Drain it and then place it in a large casserole dish. Add the whole milk, butter, and cubed cheese. Make sure that all of the ingredients are evenly distributed, and add pepper. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top. Finish with a sprinkling of bread crumbs. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The cheese should be lightly browned and the contents of the pan should be firm and moist. Let stand 10-15 minutes before serving.

Pan-Roasted Asparagus (8 servings)

2 pounds fresh asparagus
4 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt

Wash the asparagus and cut off the ends of the spears. Warm the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Place the asparagus in the pan. Cover it and cook for about 10 minutes or until the ends of the asparagus are slightly golden. Turn the asparagus during the cooking process to prevent the asparagus from sticking. Sprinkle with salt and display on a large serving dish with serving tongs.

Baked macaroni and cheese and the accompanying asparagus can be served family style. The contrast of the gooey and golden macaroni and cheese with the crunchy spears of asparagus is a delightful culinary experience with a wholesome taste and a gourmet vibe. This is a dish that both adults and kids will love to dig into.