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Special Manicotti

This classic casserole is terrific to serve at more casual Christmas gatherings. It's so special because it features both a white and red sauce.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. Bake: 45 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound ground beef or bulk Italian sausage
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 package (10 ounces) fresh spinach
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons half-and-half cream
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package (8 ounces) manicotti shells, cooked and drained
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk


  • In a saucepan, combine the water, tomato paste, sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain and set aside.
  • Place spinach in a steamer basket; place in a saucepan over 1 in. of water. Bring to a boil; cover and steam for 2-3 minutes or until wilted. Drain on paper towels; finely chop. Add to beef. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, cream, egg, parsley, salt and pepper. Stuff into manicotti shells. Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Place manicotti over sauce.
  • For white sauce, melt butter in a small saucepan. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Pour over manicotti. Top with remaining tomato sauce.
  • Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 15 minutes longer or until heated through. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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