Manicotti with Beef and Cheese

Manicotti is an Italian American pasta dish that is usually stuffed with ricotta cheese, spinach, and sometimes veal.  My family is not a fan of veal or spinach, so I made the manicotti with beef and cheese and they love it!  I hope you do to.

Manicotti with Beef and Cheese

This recipe takes a little bit of effort and makes a mess, but it is so worth the effort to make it and clean up afterwards.  This is one of our favorite dinners, paired with a Caesar salad and garlic bread and it’s the perfect pasta meal.   As I said, manicotti is usually filled with ricotta cheese and spinach, or sometimes veal is added to the cheese.  We substitute ground beef in place of the veal and it tastes great.

Manicotti with Beef and Cheese

Manicotti with Beef and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 package manicotti (8 oz. 14 count)
  • 1 package whole milk ricotta cheese (15 oz.)
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups marinara or spaghetti sauce
  • 2 TBSP butter, cut into pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In large skillet, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil to onion and ground beef. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Saute beef until meat is brown and onions are translucent. Remove from heat and cool.
  • Cook manicotti shells in large pot of boiling water until softened but still firm, approximately 4-6 minutes. Transfer shells from boiling water to a baking sheet brushed with 1 teaspoon olive oil, to cool.
  • In large mixing bowl combine ricotta cheese, 1.5 cups mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and parsley. Add garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Stir cooled meat mixture into cheeses.
  • Using remaining olive oil, cover bottom of 9x13x2 glass baking dish. Spoon 1.5 cups marina or spaghetti sauce over the bottom of a the baking dish. Fill manicotti shells with meat and cheese mixture. Arrange stuffed shells in a single layer in prepared baking dish. Cover with remaining sauce.
  • Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses over stuffed pasta. Dot with pieces of butter.
  • Bake uncovered in 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until sauce bubbles, and manicotti is heated through.
  • Remove from oven, let stand 5 minutes before serving.
http://www.wtmlpart2.com/manicotti-with-beef-and-cheese/

This is one of my family’s favorite dinners.  Using store-bought pasta sauce does help cut down on the time, and the mess.  When I made it, I used our favorite jar spaghetti sauce, but you could make your own if you wanted to.  Also, if you like your pasta dishes extra cheesy, you can always sprinkle more cheese on top before baking the manicotti.  We love extra cheesy pasta dishes, and as far as I’m concerned you can not have too much cheese.

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Broccoli Cheese Rice with Baked Tilapia

Broccoli Cheese Rice is my go to side dish when we are having fish for dinner.  Whether it’s tilapia or halibut this side dish is full of flavor without overwhelming the delicate fish.

Broccoli Cheese Rice with Baked Tilapia

Finding a side dish to go with fish isn’t always easy.  With tilapia, you don’t want an overwhelming or heavy side dish, and this broccoli and rice side is both flavorful and light.  The crushed toasted Ritz crackers give it a little crunch with a light buttery flavor.

Broccoli Cheese Rice with Baked Tilapia

Broccoli Cheese Rice with Baked Tilapia

Ingredients

  • 1 14oz. can chicken broth
  • 1/2 package frozen chopped brocoli
  • 2 cups instant white rice
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/5 Tablespoon butter
  • 10 Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 2 Tablespoon grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Thawed tilapia fillets seasoned to taste. (I used lemon pepper seasoning)

Instructions

  • In a medium saucepan, bring broccoli and broth to a boil. Stir in rice, cover, and remove from heat.
  • Let stand 5 minutes.
  • Stir in cheddar cheese. Cover.
  • Melt butter in small saucepan. Add crushed Ritz crackers and cook 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Sprinkle crackers and Parmesan cheese over rice/broccoli mixture and serve.
  • To bake the tilapia, place thawed tilapia filets in a baking dish, bake in a 425 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.
http://www.wtmlpart2.com/broccoli-cheese-rice-with-baked-tilapia/

It’s funny, now that I have been writing up meal plans and recipes here, Zoe has started giving reviews of the food.  So, I am going to let her give her review of the meal.  Last night, as she was eating she said “This fish is good, but I really like this weird side dish.”    I think she can jazz it up a bit.

Broccoli Cheese Rice with Baked Tilapia according to Zoe.

“Last night Becky Home-ecky made tilapia and broccoli cheese rice.  It was, in my opinion, good, especially the side dish.  I would recommend she make it again.  But I love broccoli. I would recommend it to kids because the rice, cheese and crackers make the broccoli taste amazing!  On a scale of 1 to 10, the tilapia gets a 7.5 and the broccoli cheese rice side dish gets a 9.”

(We will maybe work on her reviewing skills)

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