Warning! The recipe you are about to read was eaten by both the 7 yr old AND the 2 yr old! I didn't lose anyone, did I? :)
I struggled with what to name this recipe. The recipe I followed was called "Beef and Cheese Manicotti", but I made mine with turkey (because I'm a convert, remember?). And somehow "Turkey Manicotti" didn't sound very appetizing. So simply "Manicotti" it is. Ohhh, how about this one "Manicotti so good your kids will eat it!" ? Moving on...
I traded out the ground beef for ground turkey and traded out the pork sausage for turkey sausage. I also ignored the recommendation to use full fat ricotta, opting instead for the part skim milk version. And, unfortunately, I had to forget about the parsley, 'cause Lord knows if the 7 yr old spotted anything green then all bets were going to be off ;)
One quick rant: Is it really asking too much for your ENTIRE package of manicotti to be intact when you open the box?! The answer is yes, apparently. Anywho.
I should also let you know that there's really only one way to stuff these bad boys, and that is by hand. Yep, there's just no way around having to use your fingers to poke the stuffing into place.
These are fantastic! Delizioso! Squisito! Prelibato! Ok, I'm finished googling Italian now ;) Won't you give this recipe a try?
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 pound lean ground turkey
1/2 pound turkey sausage
Salt and black pepper
14 (8-ounce package) manicotti
1 (15-ounce) container part skim ricotta
2 cups shredded mozzarella
1 cup grated Parmesan
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups marinara sauce
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
Heat a heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and onion. Cook until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic, sausage and ground trukey. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until the meat browns and the onion is translucent. 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 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan. Stir the cooled meat mixture into the cheese mixture.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Brush the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Spoon 1 1/2 cups of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared 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 remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, then the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan over the stuffed pasta. Dot entire dish with the butter pieces. Bake the manicotti uncovered until heated through and the sauce bubbles on the sides of the dish, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let the manicotti stand 5 minutes and serve.