6 to 8 servings
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook manicotti noodles until semi-soft and let them cool. You may skip this step if you like more firm noodles. Cook sausage and drain excess fat. Let sausage cool for a couple of minutes. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta, onion, garlic, Italian Sausage, and a touch of mozzarella/parmesan mixture. Mix with a big spoon. One at a a time, stuff shells with fingers(lots easier than spoon but messy). Spray cake pan with Pam, and pour 1/4 bottle of sauce over bottom of the pan. Carefully place shells parallel in the pan, not overlapping. Pour remaining sauce over the top, followed by onions and olives, if desired. Top with mozarella and parmesan mix. Cover with tin foil for 45 minutes, then uncover and bake additional 15 minutes. Serve wtih a nice Italian salad, and of course, garlic bread.
I reinvented this recipe to include meat, because Italian Sausage does wonders for the flavor. Of course it can also be made meatless. I also chose to leave out the spinach. For best results, good Italian food is best when you use lots of garlic, and red onion. Also, always use authentic Italian cheese such as mozzarella, parmesan, or asiago.
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