- 1 pound ground beef (80/20 blend)
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 slices stale white bread, crusts removed
- 3 Tbl grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbl parsley
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 8 oz Ricotta Cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
- 1/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded (reserved for end)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese plus an additional 2 Tbl reserved for end
- 1 Tbl parsley Flakes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1lb box of manicotti (16–18 tubes)
- 2–3 cups Marinara Sauce
Prepare the meatballs
- Preheat oven to 350 F, rack in the middle. Line a baking pan with foil and spray with olive oil. In a bowl add the bread and the milk, press down to soak the bread and let sit for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl add the rest of the ingredients; set aside. After 10 minutes, strain the bread from the milk and place the wet bread in the other bowl with the other ingredients. Gently mix together until combined. Do not over mix as the meat will become tough. With wet hands, shape the meatballs into 1” (or slightly smaller) balls and place on the tray, slightly touching. Bake for 25 minutes or until 165F. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. While the meatballs are cooking, boil the manicotti according to the directions on the package. Set aside to drain.
Prepare the filling
- While the manicotti are draining and the meatballs are baking, mix the ricotta, egg, 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, parsley and pepper. Combine well.
- Ladle 1 1/2 – 2 cups of the marinara into the bottom of a 9×13” baking dish. Spread the sauce around. You want about a 1/2” thick layer. Place a meatball in the center of the manicotti tube.
- Using a small spoon or pastry bag filled with your filling place 1-2 Tbl of filling on each side. Place another meatball inside and end with a little more filling on each end. I ended up with 3 meatballs in each manicotti. Put the filled tubes in the pan. In a 9×13” pan you should be able to fix 16 in. If you need to stack, place a 1/2 cup of sauce on top to prevent sticking. Once all the manicotti are made, ladle the remaining sauce and drizzle over top. Cover with foil and set the pan on a baking sheet before you put it into the oven. The baking sheet will catch any leaks. *See Note on Freezing.
- Bake for 25 minutes then remove the foil. Top with the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
- Put it back into the oven uncovered for 5-10 minutes to melt the cheese. Remove from the oven and all to rest for 10 minutes before serving otherwise you risk having the cheese ooze out.
*Note: At this point, you could freeze the pan. Double wrap in plastic wrap then foil. To reheat, remove the wrappings and place into a cold oven. Turn the temp to 350 and bake for about 40-45 minutes.