Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Manicotti with Sausage

{ borrowed this recipe from here. I made slight variations}

Fonduta sauce:

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • A few slices of American cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves


·         2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
·         1 pound sweet Italian chicken sausage, casings removed
·         1 large onion, finely chopped
·         4 cloves garlic, minced
·         1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning (Giada would cringe if she knew I used a mix!)
·         salt
·         pepper
·         1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
·         12 manicotti shells
·         1 (26-ounce) jar marinara sauce
FOR VEGETARIAN: substitute spinach and mushrooms for sausage. Directions

For the fonduta sauce: In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, bring the milk and cream to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low. Keep an eye on this. It might overflow. It almost did for me.  Add the American cheese and whisk until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil. Set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the, onion, garlic, mix of Italian seasoning salt, and pepper. After about 4 minutes, add the sausage. Cook until the sausage is cooked through. Using a wooden spoon, break the sausage into 1/2-inch pieces. Increase the heat to high. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool slightly. Add ricotta, and 1 cup of the fonduta sauce.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until just tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Spread half of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Using a small spoon, fill the manicotti shells with the sausage filling and arrange in a single layer in the baking dish. Pour the remaining marinara sauce on top of the filled shells.

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cook the shells for about 30 minutes.


You can always top off the shells with mozzarella cheese. I didn’t.

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