Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sausage and Mushroom Manicotti


One of the benefits of having a well stocked, fridge, freezer, and pantry is that creating a meal even when time is of the essence is fairly easy. I know, I do feature quite a lot of recipes from cookbooks, magazines and other blogs and find extreme satisfaction if they turn out just like the pictures that accompanies them. However, I also take great pleasure that comes along with the freedom of just "winging" it in the kitchen. Sometimes, these kind of meals make the best dinners. My husband (who is a fantastic cook) loves to cook this way. Unfortunately, many times he cooks something so delicious that he is never able to recreate it a second time, since he never takes notes.

So in order to avoid this, many times I enlist one of my kids to keep me company in the kitchen and take notes of what I'm adding to a recipe. This is how this dish came about. I was tired after our visitors left, fast food was out of the question, but no one wanted to run to the store. After inspecting what my storage had to offer, this is the recipe I created and it happened to produce a wonderful Sunday dinner.


I started the recipe by browning the sweet Italian sausage along with onion, chopped mushrooms and a small amount of salt. After the sausage is cooked and the vegetables are soft, I set the mixture aside to cool. During the cooling time I went ahead and made my basic all-purpose tomato sauce and cooked the pasta. The sauce comes together quickly and I use this recipe as my base for pretty much anything that calls for an Italian inspired marinara sauce. After the meat mixture had cooled, I combined it with some ricotta cheese, eggs, Italian seasonings, parsley and Parmesan. I piped*  the cheese/meat mixture into my cooked Manicotti and placed them in a 9 x 13 pan that had a bit of the tomato sauce spread across the bottom of the dish. When all the pasta is filled and layered into the pan, the rest of the marinara sauce gets poured over the top and finally a generous sprinkling of mozzarella and more Parmesan finish off the dish before baking it for about 1 hour.

I served the Manicotti along side a Caprese Salad and everyone loved it. The kids asked for seconds, and between the five of us the dish pretty much got depleted. I will definitely make this again, there are so many great options of how to make the filling unique by using different vegetables or meats. Certainly a keeper and I hope if you try my version you will enjoy it as well!

* To pipe the filling into the cooked pasta, add the filling to a large gallon size Ziploc bag. Snip off one corner and pipe away. The Manicotti will be filled perfect in no time without the mess!


Sausage and Mushroom Manicotti 
(Susi's Kochen und Backen Original)

(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients:

3 Johnsonville Sweet Italian Sausage Links, casing removed
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
12 oz. button mushrooms, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
15 oz. ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/3 cup loosely packed Parmesan cheese, shredded
Susi's All-Purpose Tomato Sauce (recipe to follow)
8 oz. Manicotti Pasta, cooked according to package directions
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Fresh Basil chiffonade for garnish, (optional)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Brown Italian sausage in a large pan. Add the onions, mushrooms and salt and saute until soft about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

While the mixture cools, prepare tomato sauce. Cook Manicotti according to package directions; drain and rinse in cool water. Set aside.

Beat eggs lightly in medium bowl. Stir in ricotta, salt, basil, oregano and parsley. Add the meat/mushroom mixture and the Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.

Spread 1 cup tomato sauce over bottom of a 13x9 baking dish. Fill Manicotti with the ricotta mixture; place in dish. Pour remaining sauce evenly over filled shells; sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Uncover; continue baking another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let sit for about 5 minutes before serving.


Susi's All-Purpose Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup red wine
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon ketchup

Preparation:

Add all the ingredients to a sauce pan and stir to combine. Bring mixture to a simmer and let cook for at least 30 minutes.

32 comments:

  1. I love manicotti but haven't made it in AGES! I will totally try this one! Looks great! I, too, get so much satisfaction from recipes I've developed, but I don't have too many b/c it's not one of my best skills :)

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  2. Mmm, that looks fantastic! I wish I could just wing it in the kitchen while cooking... I'm missing that gene unfortunately.

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  3. I don't want kids (as of now), but man, I wish I had someone to write down what I put into dishes when I'm experimenting. LOL I will make my boyfriend make this recipe since he's more of the cook. :)

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  4. Yum, your Manicotti looks beautiful and delicious1 Brilliant idea using a disposable plastic bag to pipe in the filling.

    By the way, I ordered a subscription of Cuisine at Home, from your blog. The dishes you make from it always look so good. When I got my first copy, I recognized it as a magazine my Mother uses a lot.

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  5. Oh my word that looks incredible and your photos are so beautiful! I haven't had manicotti in forever and I think it's about time after seeing your photos. Thanks for the recipe Susi! :)

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  6. tHIS IS FAB & FILLING IN A GOOD WAY, AND WITH A CAPRESE TOO! DIVINE

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  7. Oh. my. gosh.

    This looks sooo delicious! I love the sausage and mushrooms--two of my favorite ingredients. Great job on this recipe!

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  8. wow...good job!!!! something that seems like needs lots of planning, however you just made it with whatever you have! clap..clap!!

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  9. I would love a plate of that manicotti for dinner. It looks superb!!!

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  10. A fantastic job for just winging it. I am so guilty of throwing things together and not remembering exactly how I made it, so I can't reproduce it exactly the next time. The blog helps, because I find myself thinking in my head about how I will write up the recipe, so I know I need to get it right with exact measurements!

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  11. I have a tendency to "wing it" in the kitchen too (unless I'm baking) but I seldom write down what I've done. I'm so glad you wrote this down though- it looks delicious!

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  12. I cook like this too Susi! Sometimes the best things come out that way. This looks incredibly comforting and delicious! Your great pictures really woke up a craving in me...

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  13. Tolle Kreation. Oft kommt ohne genaues Rezept das beste Abendessen zustande.

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  14. This looks wonderful! I love manicotti! Definitely going to be making this soon! :)

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  15. I would totally come over for dinner next time you make these! And yes you are lucky in having a good freezer...mine is so tiny!

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  16. Yumm, I've tried those turkey Italian sausages too and they are good. I've found chicken too, that aren't bad. I wish I had a big freezer. I want some manicotti.
    -Gina-

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  17. Emptying out the pantry for sure does produce excellent results! I've winged many dishes (and forgot what I did!) Many times!! What a wonderful idea to have the children help you keep track!! My lil ones are too busy tasting, fighting over who gets to stir, wanting to smell every ingredient!! I often lose track quickly, even if I do follow a recipe haha!

    Again, this recipe looks so fabulous!! Never cooked with Turkey- looks like I will give it a try with all these lovely ground turkey recipes!!!

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  18. Susi this looks beautiful as usual. I want Italian now!!

    Laura

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  19. This is a delicious comfort dish for cooler days. I will definitely be trying it soon. :)

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  20. Oh how I love Italian food! Everything except for mushrooms! Any suggestions for what to swap them with?

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  21. Debbie, you could easily swap the mushrooms with diced bell peppers (any color would work) but you could even be more adventurous and use finely diced eggplant with the sausage! If none of these things sound appealing, you can just proceed without the vegetables. Hope this helps :o)

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  22. This looks like an amazing dinner! Winging it is not my thing, I always love reading recipes from people who can actually combine flavours and come up with something delicious.

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  23. I had beef manicotti on my menu for this weekend and I haven't gotten around to making it yet. Now I wish I had sausage!

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  24. What a beautiful dish, I will love this. Thanks.

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  25. Mmm, now I'm officially hungry!! Looks ooey gooey and delicious!!!: )

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  26. Hi Susie, this is Diana from TasteSpotting!

    Your manicotti looks wonderful! Have you thought about submitting the recipe for the $1000 grand prize in TasteSpotting’s Johnsonville Sausage recipe contest? You can find out more details here – http://www.tastespotting.com/features/sausagespotting-win-1500-dollars-johnsonville-recipe-contest

    Would love to have you participate – cheers!

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  28. Sausage and Mushroom Manicotti is scrumptious. Thanks for sharing superlative post

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