For birthdays and other special occasions I always try to make a requested item for dinner. This year my husband wanted stuffed Manicotti. It really is easier then it sounds. I have included the recipes for both below.
Manicotti w/ Three Cheeses & Spicy Italian Sausage
12 Manicotti Shells
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
16 ounces cream cheese, softened (I use whipped, it is easier to mix)
3 cups of marinara sauce
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Pack of Johnsonville's Spicy Italian Sausage (or mild if you prefer)
Preheat oven to 350°
· Remove sausage from casing and sauté in frying pan until crumbly; drain and set aside.
· Mix together 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, cream cheese chives, and cilantro (optional).
· Cook the Manicotti shells according to the package directions. I usually do about 4 at a time and pull them out of the water a littler earlier. This makes them easier to stuff without tearing.
· Once the shells have been cooked and cooled, stuff them with the cheese mixture and place them in a lightly greased baking dish. Top with the sausage, marinara sauce, and remainder of mozzarella cheese.
· Bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake for 10 minutes longer. Let rest before serving.
Tomato & Basil Bruschetta
6 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
Italian bread cut about 1 inch thick
Green onions or chives
- Whisk together chopped garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper, and basil. When combined slowly drizzle in oil.
- Add tomatoes, onions or chives and let sit for 20 minutes at room temp or refrigerate overnight.
- Brush bread slices with olive oil and toast under the broiler. If you wish you can rub each piece, on one side, with whole garlic pieces.
- Top with tomato mixture.
- The leftovers are also great to mix into pasta.