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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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  • alicelucille
    Feb 6, 2009

    my hubby isnt a pasta lover, and I love to serve manicotti, I make crepes, put the filling on the open crepe and roll, put some sauce in pan, lay rolled crepes seam side down, crepes are so easy to make, and can be frozen, I try to make enough at one time for at least 2 meals, pack extra between sheets of wax paper, bag and freeze flat..happy eating