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Mamma Mia, Now That's Italian Manicotti

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“Is your boss coming for dinner? Want to WOW your hard-to-impress Mother-in-Law? Here's the ticket! From an old Italian-American Community cookbook I came across. This takes some time to make, but WOW is it worth it!”

Ingredients Nutrition


  2. Heat olive oil in a 2-qt. saucepan.
  3. Add chopped onion and garlic.
  4. Cook for 8 minutes or until soft but not brown.
  5. Add tomatoes, paste, basil, sugar, salt and pepper. Break up tomatoes.
  6. Reduce heat to low with pan partially covered and cook for 40 minutes.
  7. Put a thin layer of tomato sauce in bottom of 9 x 13" pan and set aside.
  8. For FILLING:
  9. Heat olive oil in skillet. Add onion and garlic, cook until soft.
  10. Stir in chopped spinach and cook, stirring constantly until all mixed together. Remove from skillet and put into a large mixing bowl.
  11. Melt 2 T. butter in same skillet and lightly brown ground beef. Drain off grease.
  12. Add the meat to the onion and spinach, along with the Parmesan cheese, Half n' Half, eggs, and oregano. Season to taste, with salt and pepper. Mix together thoroughly, but gently.
  13. Boil manicotti to al dente stage and stuff with filling. Lay manicotti gently in pan over the thin layer of tomato sauce.
  15. In a saucepan, melt butter and remove from heat.
  16. Stir in flour and pour in the milk and Half 'n Half, about a 1/2 cup at a time. Mix well.
  17. Return pan to high heat and cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
  18. Spoon besciamellia over stuffed manicotti shells.
  19. Top with remaining tomato sauce.
  20. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
  21. Bake at 350 degrees uncovered on middle shelf of oven for 25 minutes. Let set 5 minutes before serving.

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