Saturday, August 22, 2015

Meaty Manicotti with White Wine Cream Sauce

1 (8-oz) package uncooked manicotti shells
1/2 pound spicy Italian sausage
1/2 pound ground round/beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine or cooking wine
2 cups whipping cream
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can diced Italian-style tomatoes, drained
2 cups (8 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


Cook pasta according to package directions; rinse in cold water. Drain. Place in a single layer on a wire rack; set aside.

Remove casings from sausage (if necessary - depends on what kind of sausage you buy), and discard.

Cook sausage, ground round/beef, and onion in a large skillet, stirring until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain and set aside.

Add wine to skillet, stirring to loosen browned bits; bring to a boil.

Add whipping cream and next 3 ingredients; reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often, 15 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; cover and set aside.

Make sure to use low heat after adding the cream, so it won't scorch. 

Combine meat mixture, tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese.

Spoon mixture evenly into 12 manicotti shells.  You can use a small spoon to fill the shells or perhaps try putting the meat mixture in a piping bag.  If you don't have a piping bag, use a heavy-duty Ziploc bag and cut a hole in it to gently push the meat mixture through the shell.

Arrange shells in a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

Bake, covered, at 350° for 20 minutes.

Uncover and pour cream mixture evenly over shells.  Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 10 more minutes.

 Cook's Note: I actually reserved a little bit of my meat mixture
to put on top, for presentation.
Remove pan from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.   Broil, 5 1/2 inches from heat, 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.

And you know that baked-on cheese is the BEST part of any Italian dish!  

Please note, this dish is VERY RICH.  My suggestion is to pair with a fresh salad and use an acidic dressing (one with vinegar in it) to balance the meal out.

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