Stuffed Manicotti

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Today was a cold windy day perfect for slow cooking sauce and baked pasta. Here’s how made it.

Brown 1 pound grass fed ground beef in a large sauce pan. Add seasonings that your family enjoys. I added an organic Italian blend. Once browned remove the meat and set aside. Once the meat has cooled add 2 cups ricotta cheese, 2 eggs and 1 cup cooked chopped spinach.

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Put a little olive olive into the sauce pan and add half a chopped onion, 2 chopped carrots, 3 chopped celery stalks. Cook over medium high heat until soft then add 1 clove garlic and one cup red wine. I used Lindemans Bin 50. Scrape up bits. Add one cup beef broth and 4 cups diced tomatoes. Simmer over low heat for at least an hour until the sauce has reduced. Once done blend using blender to your desired consistency. I had mine quite smooth. Pour the sauce into the bottom of a casserole dish.

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Boil manicotti noodles until just soft. Drain the noodles and prepare to stuff. There are two ways to stuff, the hard way and the lazy way. The hard way involves piping the meat and cheese mix into the manicotti. For the easy way, which I did, carefully cut open the back half of the pasta tube, open it up, fill it, and then place into the dish seam side down. Repeat with the rest of noodles.

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Almost done. Make a quick white sauce by melting 2 Tbsp butter in a sauce pan over medium high heat. Once melted add 2 Tbsp flour. I used rye. Cook for a few minutes then slowly add in one and a half cups milk. Cook until the sauce has thickened, a couple minutes. Add half a cup Parmesan cheese. Pour over the noodles.

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Cover with mozzarella cheese and bake covered for 40 minutes in a 350 oven. Remove cover and bake for another 10 or so minutes until brown and yummy.

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Stuffed Manicotti

Filling

1 pound browned ground beef
2 cups ricotta
2 eggs
1 cup cooked chopped spinach

Tomato Sauce

1/2 chopped onion
2 chopped carrots
3 chopped celery stalks
1 large minced clove garlic
1 cup red wine
1 cup beef broth
4 cups diced tomatoes

Pasta

1 box boiled manicotti noodles

White Sauce

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups milk
Pepper
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Mozzarella cheese to cover.

Enjoy!

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