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Manicotti is a long hollow shell stuffed with Cheese. To make just
simple Manicotti, make a blend of WHOLE Nilk Ricotta Cheese,
shredded Mozzarella, 1 Egg, and a nice handful of Parmesan until all
Vegetables that work in this are:
very finely diced Onions
very finely diced up Zucchini
Cannelloni is usually stuffed with a Beef mixture, sometimes also
stuffed with a Cheese and Vegetable mixture.
Cannoli (notice the difference in spelling) is a fried or baked pastry
hollow shell stuffed usually with a Ricotta, Honey, Sugar, maybe some
Vanilla Extract and Chocolate bits mixture dipped in some kind of nuts.
Here I am making Cannelloni stuffed with ground Veal.
If you cannot find Ground Veal, you can use Ground Beef or Ground
Sirloin instead, at least 90% fat free.
If your butcher will further grind it, like 2 more times, that would be
good, if not, then you'll have to mash it.
1 box of Manicotti Shells (see NOTE below)
1 lb Ground Veal or Beef
about 1/2 Cup or more of shredded Mozzarella Cheese
about 1 Cup of HEAVY Whipping Cream
Salt and Pepper
couple notches of Butter (about 3 Tablespoons)
small handful of Parmesan
at LEAST 2-3 Cups of Spaghetti sauce
NOTE ON SHELLS:
This recipe is for about 2 people. Most boxed shells come 12 to a box.
Believe me, when you get home, some of the shells are cracked and
no good, and some when you boil them will just split in half and again
be no good. So keep this in mind when you are cooking for more than
If you have a pasta maker, you can make your own sheets. Follow
the recipe for Ravioli Pasta. You may want to roll these out on pasta
machine rather thin as you will be stuffing and then rolling up and you
don't want just a "hunk" of thick pasta. Just cut into rectangles (about
the size of a paper back novel), stuff and roll up, place seam side
down on sauce lined pan, top with sauce & cheese & then bake.
(I experimented with those lasagna sheets that say "no bake" on the
label, and tried boiling them a few minutes until softened and pliable.
Those didn't really work out.)
You'll also need an ice bath to stop the cooking process. By the time
you're done boiling the noodles, drain, and plop onto the ice cubes IN
A LARGE BOWL. Add a bit of cold water. They will be easier to handle
as they won't be as hot either.
Now you will be making a simple Alfredo Sauce. Put a notch of Butter
with Salt and Pepper in saute pan.
Add the HEAVY Whipping Cream, and bring to boil on high flame.
(Heavy Whipping Cream has more butterfat in it than anything else. It
is the best ingredient to use for Alfredo.)
The Cream will begin to "rise." Lower flame to low and simmer. It'll be
nice and thick in a few minutes, stir occasionally.
Now begin to brown the meat, using a potato masher while you do so.
You want the meat to be as small as possible.
Put into a bowl.
Blanch some fresh Spinach, drain, cool and cut up into tiny bits.
Add to meat mixture and mash in.
Add SOME of the Alfredo Sauce. (You can save a bit of it to top the
finished dish if you want, just reheat a bit.) Stir as you add, you want this
to be somewhat creamy. NOTE: You can add a small handful each of
WHOLE Ricotta Cheese and shredded Mozzarella Cheese to the Meat
mixture if you didn't want to add the Alfredo sauce.
Boil your noodles, according to package directions.
Don't forget, after draining them, put immediately into ice bath.
If you're using fresh pasta sheets that you made, you don't have to boil
them, just stuff them and roll them up
Pour a bit of your Spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a baking pan.
Use a spoon, and carefully stuff each shell, taking care not to break them.
Top with a pinch more of sauce and a sprinkling of shredded Mozzarella
Bake 350*F for 30-45 minutes (cheese needs to melt). Let it sit for a few
minutes before using a spatula to dish out. Top with reheated dashes of
Alfredo sauce when serving.