Meat & Cheese Manicotti
4 Minced Garlic Cloves
1 cup(s) Grated Parmesan
1/2 Roughly chopped Onion
6 Quartered Button Mushrooms
1/2 Roughly chopped Green Bell Pepper
1 pound(s) Whole Milk Ricotta
2-1/2 cup(s) Grated Mozzarella
8 oz package of Manicotti
4 teaspoon(s) EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
1/2 pound(s) Ground Chuck
1/2 pound(s) Ground Italian Sausage
Salt & Pepper to taste
Pre-heat a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the EVOO, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, ground sausage and ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until the meat browns and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and cool.
Cook the manicotti in a large pot of boiling salted water with a dash of EVOO until slightly softened, about 5 to 6 minutes. The manicotti should be a little below al dente, still very firm to avoid tearing when handling. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the manicotti from the pot to a colander and lightly toss with olive oil. Be careful not to break any of the manicotti.
In a mixing bowl, combine the ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese.. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper to taste, and mix. Next, combine the cooled meat & veggie mixture with the cheese mixture, stirring until mixed thoroughly.
Start the Traeger on Smoke for 5 minutes and then switch to 375 (High setting). Let it preheat for 10 minutes. Any pellet type will work but we prefer a blend of oak, garlic, onion and pinot noir pellets.
Brush EVOO over a 13 by 9 inch pyrex glass baking dish. Spread 1 1/2 cups of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the baking dish. Next, fill the manicotti with the cheese & meat mixture. At this point, be careful to not tear the manicotti while stuffing them. Arrange the manicotti in one layer in the baking dish and spoon the remaining marinara over the top.
Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella cheese, then the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan over the top of the stuffed pasta. Bake the manicotti uncovered on the Treager until heated through. The sauce will bubble up and the cheese will be melted all the way through. This should take about 25 to 30 minutes. Let the dish cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
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