Recipe by Miz Lily
I wanted something special for my husband when he came home from a business trip and came up with this. He loved it, and now thinks I need to cook for him whenever he goes away. It made a lot and froze beautifully.
- 22 1⁄2 ounces ricotta cheese (1 1/2 15 oz container, I use fat free)
- 3 Italian sausages, casing removed (I've used turkey sausage also)
- 1⁄2 cup onion, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 cup bell pepper, finely chopped (I used red and yellow, but use what you like)
- 1 large garlic clove, minced (or to taste)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (minced)
- 2 teaspoons italian seasoning
- 2 1⁄2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
- 3⁄4 cup parmesan cheese, grated (fresh if you can)
- 2 (26 ounce) jars marinara sauce (or spaghetti sauce, I prefer simple non-chunky sauce but use what you like)
- 1 cup water
- 1 (8 ounce) package manicotti
Directions See How It's Made
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Fry sausage with garlic, breaking it up as it cooks so its in small pea size chunks.
- Add onions and bell peppers and cook until veggies are soft and flavors are blended. Drain well! I put it in a metal colander over a bowl and left it to sit to get rid of as much of the grease as possible.
- In a large bowl, combine ricotta, and egg. Season with parsley, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Mix in 1 1/2 cups mozzarella and 1/2 cup Parmesan. Stir in the well drained sausage mixture.
- In a separate bowl, stir together spaghetti sauce and water. Spread 1 cup sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
- Stuff uncooked manicotti shells with ricotta mixture (fill a sturdy sealable storage bag and cut a corner off, works fabulous).
- Arrange shells in a single layer in the dish. Cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
- Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until noodles are soft.
- Note: The amounts of filling is more than needed for one box of shells, you can either buy more or use the extra filling for other things.