Adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 1/2 pound 50% less fat Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 14 (8-ounce package) manicotti
- 1 (15-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
Heat a heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and onion. Cook until the onion begins to soften. Add the garlic, ground beef and sausage. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until the meat browns and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat, and cool.Brush 1 teaspoon of oil over a large baking sheet. Cook the manicotti in a large pot of boiling salted water until slightly softened, but still very firm to the bite, about 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the manicotti from the pot to the oiled baking sheet and cool.
Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, 1 1/2 to 2 cups mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and parsley. Add the salt and pepper to taste, and mix.
Stir the cooled meat mixture into the cheese mixture.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Brush the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Spoon 1 1/2 cups of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Fill the manicotti with the cheese-meat mixture using a zip lock bag with a generous sized snip in the corner.
Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese, then the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan over the stuffed pasta. Dot entire dish with the butter pieces.Bake the manicotti uncovered until heated through and the sauce bubbles on the sides of the dish, about 35-40 minutes. Let the manicotti stand 5 minutes and serve.