As the holidays approach, I'm beginning to think of great holiday table additions. I believe these sausage and caramelized onion stuffed manicotti would be perfect for a special occasion and I just might be making these for Thanksgiving this year. I'm very careful to not add salt anywhere but the caramelizing onions, because sausage has almost enough salt for the whole dish. I urge you to hold off on salting until the filling is complete; taste for salt then and depending on the kind of sausage you used, you may not even need to add any. I hope you give this recipe a try and enjoy!
Italian Sausage and Ricotta Stuffed Manicotti
1 8-oz package manicotti (14 manicottis)
Oil, for frying
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
1 lb Italian sausage (mild or spicy, as preferred)
1 1/2 cup whole milk ricotta
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon crushed black pepper
Fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook manicotti pasta to "al dente" according to package directions. Once cooked, drained and rinse with cold water to stop cooking process.
2. While pasta cooks, start filling. Add 2 tablespoons of oil, the sliced onions, sugar and salt to a skillet over medium heat. Cook 10 minutes, mixing occasionally, until onions are wilted and start to brown lightly. Add the chopped spinach and cook just until spinach wilts. Remove from pan and add into a large mixing bowl.
3. Without cleaning the skillet, add the sausage and cook over high heat, breaking up the meat, just until the pink of the meat is almost cooked out (meat will finish cooking in the oven). Remove and add to the mixing bowl.
4. To the same mixing bowl, add the whole milk ricotta, 1/2 of the Parmesan cheese, all of the mozzarella cheese and the crushed black pepper. Mix all of the ingredients until combined. Taste for salt; adjust as needed.
5. Oil a medium-sized baking dish; set aside (size of baking dish doesn't matter too much; it's ok for the manicotti to overlap in the dish). Using a piping bag with a large round nozzle (or with clean hands) stuff the manicotti from both ends until filled completely and lay into the oiled baking dish. Spread any remaining filling over the top manicottis, then top with remaining 1/2 of the Parmesan cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool slightly and top with fresh chopped parsley before serving. Enjoy.
All content is my own unless otherwise stated