I sold tickets for an Italian supper spring of 2010 and it was January of 2011 until we managed to find a date that would suit all four couples who bought tickets. I went back and forth trying to decide what to make. I earlier thought I would make Penne Rustica, an entree by Macaroni Grill but in the end decided to go with something different.
I had visions of doing an outdoor meal like Christy did a few years back but when it ended up being scheduled for January, I gave up that idea.
Here is the menu.
My sister made the fresh herb dipping oil which is better than any other dipping oil that I’ve ever had!! She uses fresh rosemary and basil and garlic and I’m not sure what all else. She smashes it to get every bit of flavoring out of it.
I made fresh bread using a recipe from our friend Beat(rice).
The recipe I’m going to share with you today is Laurie’s Stuffed Manicotti. And if I have shared that before, please forgive me. I just happen to love it! And I happen to be hungry. Bad combination.
I don’t know who Laurie is. I got this recipe out of a magazine quite a number of years ago and for some reason I feel compelled to keep that name attached. Whoever Laurie is, she came up with some delicious manicotti!
1 lb. mild bulk pork sausage
2 (15 oz.) cans Hunt’s Italian tomato sauce
1 (6 oz.) can Hunt’s tomato paste
1/4 c. water
1/2 TBSP. packed light brown sugar
1 (15 oz.) container ricotta cheese
3 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 tsp. parsley flakes
12 manicotti noodles, cooked, rinsed, drained
Grated Parmesan cheese
In large saucepan, brown sausage, drain. Remove half of sausage, set aside. Stir tomato sauce, paste, water and brown sugar into sausage, simmer 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in bowl, combine remaining sausage, ricotta, 2 cups Mozzarella, egg and parsley.
In 9x13x2 inch baking dish, pour 1/3 of sauce mixture. Stuff manicotti noodles with ricotta mixture and place on top of sauce. Pour remaining sauce over stuffed noodles. Top with remaining Mozzarella, sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Make sure you don’t cook the noodles too long or they will tear apart.
The best way to fill them is to put the filling in a bag, cut the corner of the bag and squeeze it into the noodles.
We have already made this ahead of time and frozen it to take to a girls beach party. I think we’ve done that several times, actually. All you have to do is bake it!
Spinach would be good in there too! And mushrooms on top! I’ll leave you to drool now.
I don’t have any photos of the completed meal. By that time I was desparately flying around the kitchen, trying to stay a bite ahead of my hungry guests.
Oh, and for dessert I had a hard time deciding what would Italian enough to make. I’ve never made tiramisu and didn’t feel like tackling it in case it didn’t turn out. So, I decided to make this and it got an Italian name, courtesy of Lois.
La Vita Dolce Strawberry Cake
(The Sweet Life)
It has cheesecake and spice cake layers, separated by cream cheese strawberry icing.
You want the recipe?
Well, you’ll have to wait. I have to find it first, or at least reconstruct it. And then I’ll give a you a turtle/chocolate version too. Make life hard for you by making you choose between the two.