• 1 package of manicotti

  • Cheese Filling

  • 2 lb of Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 oz chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 egg beaten

  • Meat Sauce

  • Olive Oil to coat pan
  • 3 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 large sweet onion diced
  • 1lb ground sirloin
  • 1 26oz Jar of Traditional Pasta Sauce
  • 2 8oz cans of tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Sugar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

For our first main course we decided to make Ricotta Cheese Manicotti.  My sister made this for me I believe the same night we decided on CheeseMonsters. It was so simple and so delicious I knew we had to recreate it for the blog.  It was supposed to be a simple dinner, but like most things in my family, the simple dinner became a dinner for 9 in my small condo. It was still pretty easy to make, regardless of how many are eating.  Unfortunately our camera expert was not available tonight, and I have yet to learn to use the fancy camera.  I should have just stuck with my own Canon PowerShot. The only good shot I got was the final product.

It was supposed to be a simple dinner

I’m going to break it up into two parts. The cheese filling and then the meat sauce.  Of course you can make it without meat, we have a vegetarian in the family and we just made a separate sauce for him

First off cook your manicotti according to package directions.  We boiled it for 7 min and that was perfect.  We then cooled it to get it ready for stuffing
You also want to preheat your oven to 350

Cheese Filling

Mix the Ricotta cheese with the garlic, fresh basil, and egg until it is all mixed together.  Set aside

Meat Sauce

In a large saucepan heat up the olive oil with the onions and garlic until they are sauteed and cooked.

Add the ground beef and cook until it is browned

After that you add both sauces, the Italian seasoning (note: Natalie usually creates her own by adding dried basil, oregano, garlic powder, and onion powder) sugar and salt and pepper to taste.  The sugar is also to taste. Natalie and I both like it pretty sweet so we added more, but the measurement posted is just right

Of course even with the sauce you can use pretty much whatever is your favorite.  We like to keep it simple so that we can add our own flavors, which is why we always use a traditional plain pasta sauce

Putting it Together

Take the cooked cooled manicotti and with a fork or spoon carefully stuff the cheese mixture into the pasta.  Natalie did this part, it looked messy and not exactly all that simple, but just get the cheese in there somehow, it’ll be delicious either way. We even had some that broke completely down the middle. Those were the easiest to stuff!

Arrange the filled manicotti in one layer in a baking pan and then pour the meat sauce over it

Top with some shredded Italian cheese mix and some Parmesan.

Place in the oven for about 15 min

Once it is cooked and the cheese is melted and delicious, serve and enjoy! We all enjoyed it very much!