This is a family favorite!
Had to share this Manicotti recipe, it takes a little time, but is worth the effort!
You also get two dishes with one prep time.
Saucy Manicotti (makes 2 casserole dishes) from Southern Living, Easy Entertaining
3/4 pound Italian Sausage
3/4 pound ground chuck
1 large onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, pressed
2 (15 oz ) can tomato sauce
1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 T dried Italian seasoning
1 (8 oz) package manicotti shells
1 (8 oz) container cream cheese with chives & onions, softened
5 cups (20 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
4 garlic cloves, pressed
3/4 tsp pepper
Garnishes: chopped fresh parsley, shredded Parmesan cheese
Remove & discard casing from sausage. Cook sausage, beef, onion an garlic in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring until sausage and beef crumble and are no longer pink: drain. Return sausage mixture to Dutch oven.
Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste and dried Italian seasoning; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.
While sauce simmers, cook pasta shells according to package directions. Stir together cream cheese, 4 cups mozzarella cheese and next 4 ingredients. Stuff evenly (I slice and use a scoop to drop stuffing into shells). Spoon half of sauce evenly into 2 greased 13 x 9 inch baking dishes . Arrange stuffed shells over sauce; top with remaining sauce.
Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese melts. Let stand 5 minutes. Enjoy! Yield: 7 servings.
Note: Casserole may be frozen. Just prep (don't bake). Thaw in refrigerator 12 hours. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until heated through. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese and bake 10 more, or until cheese melts. Let stand 5 minutes.