Found this one on Allrecipes.com and tweaked the ingredients just a bit to fit the picky Italian DH. Ground sausage as opposed to ground beef gives the dish much more flavor. Do ahead tip would be to stuff the shells the night before, place in red sauce, refrigerate, and then make the white sauce just prior to cooking. Watch the amount of chicken bouillon as it can make the white sauce way too salty. Serve with some garlic stuffed/sauteed artichokes (Garlic Sauteed Artichokes) and a small garden salad.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup finely chopped onion
- 10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground sausage
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
- 1 (12 ounce) package manicotti
- 1 1⁄2 lbs fresh ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 (26 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce, divided
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon granule
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Saute onions, garlic, ground sausage, and beef until meat is well browned and crumbled.
- Prepare Manicotti shells as per package directions except cut the cook time in HALF.
- Drain and cover with cool water to stop the cooking process and prevent the shells from cracking.
- To the ground pork/beef mixture add the spinach and ricotta cheese.
- When the mixture is cool, add the beaten eggs.
- Spread 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
- Gently drain the manicotti shells and carefully stuff each one with the meat and cheese mixture; place shells in prepared dish.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Prepare the white sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir in flour and chicken bouillon.
- Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, until it begins to bubble.
- Stir in half and half and bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
- Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat and stir in parsley.
- Pour or ladle the sauce evenly over the stuffed shells.
- Stir the basil into the remaining spaghetti sauce.
- Carefully pour or ladle spaghetti sauce over the white sauce, trying to layer the sauces without mixing.
- Cover and bake for 40 minutes.
- Remove from oven, uncover and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes more.