Thursday, September 23, 2010

Yum Yum Gimme Some

Three Cheese Sausage Manicotti

1 lb Spicy Italian Sausage, bulk or casings removed (I can usually only find Premio)
3 tsp Olive Oil
18 Manicotti shells (I could only find Ronzoni brand - 1-1/2 boxes)
2 lbs Ricotta cheese, whole milk
3 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp fresh Italian Parsley, chopped
4 cups Tomato Sauce (I use Tuttorosso Tomato & Basil because it's cheap and Dave loves it - 1-1/2 jars)

Put large stockpot of salted water on to boil. Heat large, heavy pan over high heat. Add sausage in small chunks and brown, stirring often. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Brush large baking sheet with 1 tsp olive oil. Carefully place manicotti in boiling water, stir gently, and cook for 4-6 minutes, until they begin to soften but are still quite firm. Remove carefully with a slotted spoon, and spread out on baking sheet to cool.

While manicotti are cooling, combine ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella, 3/4 cup Parmesan, parsley, and sausage in a large bowl. Brush 13" x 9" x 2" D baking pan with 2 tsp Olive Oil. Spread 2 cups tomato sauce on bottom of pan.

Carefully stuff manicotti shells with filling, and place them in the pan. Spread 2 cups tomato sauce on top. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan.

If making ahead, cover with plastic wrap and aluminum foil, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Remove plastic wrap and foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling at the edges.

This was enough for 4 people, most of which were big eaters, with 3 manicotti leftover for lunch split between me and my boss the next day. I would probably be comfortable serving this to 6 people.