“When the moon hits you eye like a big pizza pie
That’s amore
When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine
That’s amore”

There is just something about Italian food that speaks the language of love. Dean Martin crooned about it in this well-known tune. Even Tramp knew to take Lady to an Italian restaurant when he was trying to impress her.

Although a lot of dishes seem involved and sometimes complicated, Manicotti is one that is simple and so good. If you want to your food to speak of your love, give this main dish a whirl. It will set your Valentine’s heart a-flutter. (Or at least make them drool and beg you to share your dinner!)

Cast of characters for Manicotti
Cook pasta shells for seven minutes.
Drain pasta, rinse in cold water, set aside.
While meat is browning, mix together ricotta and parmesan cheeses, parsley flakes and salt.
Add browned meat to filling mix then start filling the shells.
Pour 3/4 cup alfredo sauce in bottom of baking dish and spread evenly. Top with filled Manicotti shells then pour rest of jar of sauce over shells, top with Parmesan cheese and bake!
Manicotti - hot out of the oven and ready to eat. (Please note to not overcook yours like I did mine because my dad called about three seconds before I needed to take this out of the oven!)
Garnish with marinara sauce and more cheese then savor ever delicious bite!
1 box Manicotti shells
1 pound ground pork sausage
1 pound ground beef
1 tsp. all-purpose seasoning
1 tsp. onion flakes
2 eggs
1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. parsley flakes
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 jar alfredo sauce
1/2 cup marinara sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook Manicotti shells 7 minutes in boiling water. Drain and rinse in cool water. Set aside.

In a large skillet, cook beef and sausage with seasoning and onion flakes until brown. Drain any grease and set aside.

Beat eggs lightly in a medium bowl. Stir in ricotta, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, parsley flakes and salt. Mix in meat.

Grease a 13x9x2 inch baking dish and spread 3/4 cup alfredo sauce in the bottom of the pan. Fill Manicotti shells with cheese and meat mixture. I use a teaspoon to stuff the filling in. You can also load a ziploc bag and cut a sizeable whole in one corner and squeeze it in, but I think the teaspoon method is faster. Place filled Manicotti in pan. Pour remaining sauce evenly over filled shells, sprinkle with remaining cheese and cover with foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted.

Put a large spoonful of marinara sauce on a plate, top with two Manicotti shells, drizzle with marinara sauce and top with another sprinkling of cheese, if desired. Serve alongside a fresh, green salad and Cupid’s Bread.

Prepare to be overwhelmed with the undying devotion of your sweetheart for making them such a marvelous meal!

That’s Amore!

Happy Valentine’s Entertaining!

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Pinterest
Share by Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *