Saturday, April 28, 2012

Drawing for Art pick and a recipe...........

It's been a busy couple of days, and this weekend isn't going to be much better by the looks of it.

We went to the Drawing For Art function the other night and had a good time.  It takes us nearly two hours to drive to Whitby, mainly due to the heavy traffic, and we take alternate roads trying to escape the rush hour traffic to no avail. 

As I mentioned in a previous post both dd and I wanted the same piece of artwork, and in person it was simply gorgeous.  Dd being the lucky duck that she is, her name was picked from the "hat," number 2, so she was able to pick the poppy painting.  The first year we went she was picked first, last year she was middle of the pack and this year 2nd.  Meanwhile we were picked over half way through, and we chose this piece by Christl Niemuller called "Blue Trees."  Once again a beautiful piece, and my photo does not do it justice.
We left not long after at around 9:30pm and made it home by just after 11pm.

That evening I made for the first time Manicotti for supper using the recipe from the Food Network.

Beef and Cheese Manicotti

Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 14 (8-ounce package) manicotti
  • 1 (15-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups marinara sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

Directions

Heat a heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, onion 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.
Brush 1 teaspoon of oil over a large baking sheet. Cook the manicotti in a large pot of boiling salted water until slightly softened, but still very firm to the bite, about 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the manicotti from the pot to the oiled baking sheet and cool.
Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, 1 1/2 to 2 cups mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and parsley. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper to taste, and mix. Stir the cooled meat mixture into the cheese mixture.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Brush the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Spoon 1 1/2 cups of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Fill the manicotti with the cheese-meat mixture. Arrange the stuffed pasta in a single layer in the prepared dish and spoon the remaining sauce over.
Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese, then the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan over the stuffed pasta. Dot entire dish with the butter pieces. Bake the manicotti uncovered until heated through and the sauce bubbles on the sides of the dish, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let the manicotti stand 5 minutes and serve.

Before:

After:
 
As always I have a couple of suggestions.  DO NOT cook the pasta for more than 5 minutes, as it makes it so much easier to stuff them when they are more rigid.  If possible prepare the ground beef and onion in the morning, as it has to cool, I eventually stuck mine in the freezer to cool down faster so I could get on with the rest of the recipe.

If you have one of those long handled baby spoons, that is the ideal thing to stuff the pasta with.  If not a teaspoon, or even your fingers.  I don't do the whole putting your hands in the mixture kind of thing, that's icky!!!  Also I wouldn't dot the butter on the top next time, I just don't see the point of it?

Overall though it was really, really good and very filling.  We had three each with a cottage cheese biscuit and were full.  Well worth making.  There is enough in a large can of spaghetti sauce for the recipe.

Having it for supper again tonight and any leftovers will be put in the freezer for another night for one of us.

6 comments:

Jackie/Jake said...

Toronto traffic is always crazy. Recipe looks good I think I made manicotti once many years ago but this looks good.

Rose said...

I like the artwork you won...I never did get through all of them, but I really liked one called Bluecreek...

I need to try making manicotti...it sounds delicious. It is one of my niece's favorite meal.

~Carla~ said...

The painting is gorgeous! And your recipe looks & sounds fabulous! Will have to save it to make for hubby & kids!! Yum!!

DaxingCujo said...

Hi Gill Glad to see you are back to posting :)

The artwork looks great and yes, traffic stinks!

Had some reading to catch up on...as for the snow we had light dusting, we are south of the Falls, so we didn't get it as bad as the north.

beagleAnnie said...

The painting is so beautiful, Gill. Dd is a lucky girl.
And the manicotti looks yummy.

Cash Only Living said...

Thanks for the recipe...that looks awesome!! Yummy!