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Manicotti stuffed with meat, spinach and cheese, coated with tomato and white sauces. Delicious and a tricky way to get kids to eat spinach! This takes a little time but is a beautiful, special dish. Great with breadsticks!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup onion, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄2 lb ground beef (I use venison)
- 1⁄2 lb ground pork
- 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
- 1 lb frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 2 cups cottage cheese
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1⁄4 cup fresh parsley, chopped or 2 tablespoons parsley, dried
- 12 ounces manicotti
- 3 cups spaghetti sauce, divided (I make my own or use prego)
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1⁄2 cup romano cheese, grated
- To prepare the filling: Saute onions in oil over medium heat until soft. Add garlic, saute 1 minute. Remove from pan to a large bowl. Brown meat in same skillet; season with salt and Italian seasoning. Drain and cool.
- Cook spinach in microwave, covered, with a little water for 2-3 minutes. Drain well and add to the bowl with onions, along with the eggs, cottage cheese and meat. Mix well.
- To prepare the white sauce: melt the butter in a saucepan over medium low heat. Whisk in the flour and bouillon granules till lumps are gone. Slowly add the half and half. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in parsley.
- Cook manicotti shells in boiling salted water for half the time indicated on package (5 minutes.) Drain and cover with a damp towel to prevent shells from drying and cracking.
- Spread 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 10x14 baking dish.
- Gently stuff the manicotti with meat mixture, placing in baking dish. Keep the manicotti covered while working.
- Spoon the white sauce evenly over the manicotti.
- Spoon the remaining red sauce over the white sauce, being careful not to mix the two.
- Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.
- Sprinkle the mozzarella and romano cheeses on top and bake, uncovered, 10 more minutes or till cheese is melted.