Tasty Tuesday: Baked Manicotti - For the Joy of Life.

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Tasty Tuesday: Baked Manicotti


One of Hunter's favorite meals ever is lasagna. 
However, he only really likes it when his mom makes it haha.
I've tried making it several times but we have very differing opinions on how it should be made.
I LOVE ricotta cheese and he just likes regular cheese, meat, noodles, and sauce.
I like to get fancy, and he likes to keep it simple haha.
So, I've decided to leave the lasagna making for his mom when we go home and visit ;) 
Sometimes though, I get a craving for lasagna made my way and have decided manicotti is basically just the same thing in a different form.
And, I've managed to trick Hunter into loving it the way I make it!
Win, win!
I also like to think that because I do part of my filling with cottage cheese and spinach, that it's just a bit healthier ;) haha!
Anyways, I hope you like this recipe as much as we do!
Pair it with some balsamic asparagus and you are golden!


Ingredients:

-1 lb ground beef
-1 package manicotti noodles
-1 jar favorite marinara sauce
-1 Cup and 1/2 cup shredded cheese (I've used practically all of them but I like to use whatever I have which is usually the Mexican blend from costco) 
-1 cup cottage cheese
-1 cup ricotta cheese
-1 tsp garlic salt
-1 tsp dried basil
-1 cup chopped fresh spinach
-salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1) Brown your ground beef in a pan with some salt and pepper to taste. At the same time, boil your manicotti until al dente. You don't want them to fall apart because it gets reallllyy hard to stuff them.
2) In a bowl or stand up mixer combine all cheeses reserving the 1/2 cup of shredded cheese for the top. Add in your ground beef, spinach, and seasonings and combine. Add in salt and pepper to your taste preference. 
3) Put 1/3 of your pasta sauce at the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Now you get to stuff your manicotti. This can be a really messy step so I highly recommend adding your filling to a gallon size ziploc bag and snipping off the corner to fill your noodles. It just makes it easier on everyone haha. Once you fill one, place it on top of the sauce in your pan.
4) Add the remainder or your sauce on top of the stuffed noodles and sprinkle the rest of your shredded cheese on top. I also do a few sprinkles of parmesan cheese and a little chopped spinach on top. 
5) Cover with foil and bake at 375 for about 20 min. Then uncover and bake another 10 minutes. I like to broil the top for an additional 1 or 2 minutes at the end to make the cheese on top crispy ;)


Ta-da! Your manicotti is all done! I like to serve this with a salad or some grilled veggies and it's even better when you eat it outside. 
I just feel like eating outside makes anything better haha.

I hope you all enjoy this recipe!

All my love,
Aleigh Joy


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