Baked Beef and Cheese Manicotti (Cannelloni)

Ingredients

1 carton (15 ounces part skim ricotta cheese)

3/4 lb lean ground beef

1/4 cup onion (chopped)

2 cloves garlic (chopped)

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (plus more for garnish)

2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (divided*)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 large egg (lightly beaten)

1/4 teaspoon salt

black pepper (to taste)

3 1/2 to 4 cups Pomodoro Fresco sauce  (about 1 1/2 jars)

14 manicotti pasta shells (8 ounces (for gluten-free use Jovial)*)

Directions

Heat a heavy medium skillet over high heat. Add the ground beef, season with salt and pepper. Saute until the meat browns, drain then add the onion and garlic, cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and cool.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, cooled ground beef, parsley, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, salt and black pepper.

Transfer the a piping bag or gallon size ziplock bag, with a 1/2 inch hole snipped off the corner and stuff each uncooked manicotti shell with about generous 1/4 cup each.

Spread 1 cup of the sauce mixture into a greased 13×9-in. baking dish. Arrange stuffed manicotti shells in a single layer over sauce.

Top with remaining sauce.

Cover tight with foil and bake at 375F until pasta is tender, 60 to 65 minutes, until the pasta is tender and cooked. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake covered 3 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.

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