Manicotti, Birdeye

Friday, August 19, 2016

I'm glad that Jeanie wrote in the front of the cookbook so I can remember the year and so forth
The recipe makes a generous 9X12 dish of manicotti...Anytime I make this for someone, I double it so I can put some in
the freezer for us and I also divide into small portions for less waste

This morning when I left for Neall's dad's funeral I put the dogs up and look where the 70 lb. Afghan went....
He's in a 20 lb. dog crate...he put himself in there and I'm not sure why but I got a big kick out of it....Wesson, our
new shepherd mix loves our pit mix foster Ellie Mae, they spend a lot of time together in the XL crate (which is Pharaoh's)

My manicotti recipe comes from this cookbook my mother-in-law Jeanie have me nearly
20 years ago.  It's a classic, southern cookbook

Labeling is key when you give food to someone or freeze it for later
Pharaoh was so big, his legs didn't even fit in that crate

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

My dentist Neall Jackson lost his father on Tuesday from heart disease.  His sister Tara Burton and I are good buddies so after taking Neall's precious family Shipley's donuts and other food items, I decided to make Tara a meal so she could take it home to Memphis for her, John and Emmy Ruth.   Manicotti is my go to meal because it's easy to make, freezes well and can be stored in big or small portions.  I cannot believe I haven't published the recipe on here, it's fantastic.

Jeanie gave me a cookbook from Memphis back when J.Harmon and I first moved to Wynne in 1996.  That year, they offered me a job at the veterinary clinic and J.Harmon and I lived with them until the next summer.  I did most of the cooking and grocery store buying and like you can see on her cookbook comments, "the year of the bridge" is because the bridge washed out in front of their house and I had to balance groceries over a 2x4 plank over a good 6-8 foot drop off.  It was definitely a memorable time for sure!

So here's the easiest and most delicious Manicotti recipe on the planet:


1 lb. ground beef
1 onion, diced
1/3 bell pepper, diced
salt and pepper
4-16oz. cans tomato sauce
6 oz. tomato paste
1/2 t each garlic powder, salt and oregano


12 oz. Whole milk Ricotta cheese (I use skim)
2 whole eggs
3/4 C grated Parmesan cheese
12 oz. Shredded Mozzarella cheese

1 box Manicotti noodles

Cook Manicotti noodles as the box recommends.  Drain and cool on a cookie sheet.

Brown the ground beef, onions and bell pepper over med high heat in a dutch oven.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Drain fat and return to heat and add the tomato sauce, tomato paste and seasonings.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook 2 hours over low heat and a lively boil.  Put a small amount of sauce in the bottom of a 9X12 casserole (or two smaller dishes) sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

While the sauce cooks, make the filling in a large bowl.  When the noodles are cool, fill with the filling and place in the casserole dish over the thin layer of sauce.  Then cover with remaining sauce and bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

This recipe freezes well.  Be sure it's completely thawed before cooking or allow for a lot of extra time to cook it!

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