This post brought to you by Classico Riserva. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Busy Creating Memories.
Dinner. It can be my best friend or my worst enemy. I used to imagine myself as the perfect wife, dishing up dinner right as the hubs got home from work. The table would be set with a Thanksgiving feast, every night.
Reality check: There are some nights when my family gets cold cereal for dinner and they’re lucky to have that. But there are other nights when I want to really show my family how much I love them, so I spend a little extra time in the kitchen, and I break out the fancy dishes.
And then there are some days when I really want a nice, delicious dinner, but I don’t have the time or energy to spend all day over the hot stove. Soccer, ballet, homework, gardening, dentist appointments, grocery shopping, laundry, it all gets in the way. It’s called life! So I LOVE recipes that don’t keep me in the kitchen for long, but they pack a love-filled punch.
My mom made used to make these amazing Stuffed Manicotti Shells for wedding receptions and for appreciation dinners.
Now that’s what I’m talking about. So I took her fancy recipe, and I condensed it.
1 box large shells
16oz Ricotta Cheese
1 and 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
½ lb ground beef, browned and drained
1 16oz jar of Classico Riserva’s Arrabbiata sauce
Cook pasta shells to al dente (they’ll be baked later)
While pasta is cooking, mix ricotta, 1 cup shredded mozzarella, and ground beef in a medium bowl.
Spray a medium baking dish. Pour a thin layer of Arrabbiata sauce on the bottom of baking dish.
When pasta is cooked and slightly cooled, fill each shell with cheese mixture.
Pour the rest of Classico sauce over the shells. Top with ½ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.
Bake at 350 for 20 – 25 minutes.
Couple things to note about this recipe. You can take the meat out if you are a vegetarian or if you can’t eat beef. (Some people can’t!) So take out the meat or switch it up for ground turkey. The reason we use shells instead of traditional manicotti is because the manicotti are harder to stuff.
And I’m all about time management. I don’t have time to sit and stuff pasta. This is fast and delicious. You don’t have to babysit it while it cooks. Your pasta can boil and you can either brown your meat, or used meat you’ve already browned and then frozen. Time saver! As soon as the pasta is done, this is practically in the oven!
Remember how I said I modified the recipe? Really, the main difference I made was the decrease the number of herbs and spices put in, because they’re packed into Classico Riserva Pasta Sauce. There is a member of the Classico family, and you won’t believe your taste buds.
Let me just tell you about Classico’s newest member of the family. The ingredients are all fresh, no artificial preservatives or dyes (and as we’ve talked, that’s SO important to us around here!). The tomatoes are vine ripened and picked at the peak of sweetness.
We are big gardeners around here. Store bought tomatoes are just not the same as our home grown tomatoes. This sauce is as good as it gets, let me tell you.
If you picked a different tomato based sauce, the results would be fine, but not nearly as good. So take my word for it, just Open Up a Bottle of the Good Stuff. 😉
And just to make sure you get the right stuff, with the help of Classico Riserva, I’m giving away a bottle of this goodness to THREE of our lucky readers!
Just enter below for your chance to win.
Trust me, you wanna win.
So the next time you’re wondering what kind of fancy dinner to make, this is your guy. Your significant other will be impressed. Your neighbors will wish you’d invited them over. And your kids will wonder who’s coming for dinner. So go ahead and invite the neighbors over. Show off your manicotti making skills.