Ricotta and veal stuffed manicotti shells over a bed of sauteed greens and smothered in a homemade blush sauce. Veal Stuffed Manicotti Florentine is classic comfort food, and this recipe is the perfect introduction.
Ricotta and veal stuffed manicotti shells over a bed of sauteed greens and smothered in a homemade blush sauce. Veal Manicotti Florentine is classic comfort food, and this recipe is the perfect introduction.
Imagine pasta shells stuffed with a delicious cheese mixture and tomato sauce and topped with more cheese. This cheese manicotti recipe is something straight out of a traditional Italian restaurant. The next time you’re craving a taste of Italy, be sure to try this easy manicotti recipe. It’s the perfect time to test your hand at homemade Italian food.
The amazing thing about this recipe is that it contains veal. Not everyone enjoys the taste, but if you enjoy dishes like Veal Parmesan or Grilled Veal Chops, you will certainly enjoy this family favorite. Next time you’re craving veal, you might also try Veal Saltimbocca Burgers! These will quickly become part of the regular rotation.
What is Stuffed Manicotti?
Manicotti shells are large, hollow pasta shells. Once cooked and softened, they are tasty and stuffed with all things imaginable. A stuffed manicotti recipe adds ricotta cheese and marinara sauce to the noodles in a casserole dish. Lay them on a bed of wilted spinach, and you have your stuffed manicotti.
Ingredients for Stuffed Manicotti
- Manicotti shells – These large pasta tubes allow you to stuff them with a creamy filling.
- Ground veal
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Vegetables – You will use onion, carrots, red pepper, green pepper, and garlic
- White wine
- Lemon juice
- Heavy cream
- Marinara sauce – A staple for this Italian dish
- Ricotta cheese
- Spinach – A bed of spinach gives you the perfect amount of greens.
- Fresh parsley
- Parmesan cheese – Sprinkled on top of this dish, you get an amazing flavor the whole family will love.
How to Make Veal Stuffed Manicotti
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and cook your pasta according to the package directions.
- Once cooked, drain the pasta and line them in a baking dish in a single layer.
- In a preheated skillet, cook the veal over medium-high heat until browned. Season with salt and black pepper and set aside.
- In a clean skillet, add your olive oil. Add the onion, carrot, and peppers and saute for about 7 to 10 minutes.
- Add your garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Season with salt and pepper if you wish.
- Melt the butter into the pan and whisk in your flour to coat everything evenly.
- Whisk in wine and lemon juice.
- Slowly whisk in the heavy cream, watching for clumps. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1/2 a cup of marinara sauce.
- Whisk together your ricotta and parsley and stir in the cooked veal.
- Add the remaining marinara sauce over the bottom of the baking dish.
- Fill your manicotti evenly with the ricotta mixture and arrange in the pan. Spoon 2 cups of blush sauce over the noodles and sprinkle parmesan on top.
- Bake the dish for 30 to 35 minutes until the sauce is bubbling.
- While the manicotti cools, pre-heat a skillet on medium heat.
- Add olive oil to the pan.
- One cup at a time, add your spinach, and season with salt.
- Reduce the heat, cover, and let the spinach wilt for a few minutes.
- Arrange the spinach on serving plates and add manicotti.
- Garnish with parsley on top of the manicotti if desired.
EXPERT RECIPE TIPS
Use a long narrow spoon
- The softened manicotti can be difficult to fill sometimes. To avoid breaking the shells, use a long narrow spoon to add your cheese mixture to the dish.
Use a piping bag
- Another way to avoid breaking your shells is to use a piping bag or pastry bag to add the cheesy ricotta filling! A ziploc bag with the tip cut off will also work great.
What to Serve with Manicotti
Veal Stuffed Manicotti goes well with so many dishes and sides! Serve this easy recipe with your favorite greens or orzo salad. Slice up some potato wedges to serve on the side, or add some corn on the cob. Vegetable soup and baked french fries are also family favorites.
Leftovers and Reheating
Save your leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. You can easily reheat this dish for a large crowd by tossing it back in the oven until it is heated through. This dish is the perfect busy weeknight meal to have on hand to reheat.
If you are reheating small amounts, do so in the microwave or in an oven-safe dish for a few minutes until heated through.
Yes, cottage cheese is a great substitute for ricotta cheese If needed. They have similar tastes, but the cottage cheese is less creamy. These are commonly swapped when making lasagna and other Italian dishes.
If you don’t want to use manicotti shells, rolled lasagna noodles are very similar. Alternatively, you could always make stuffed shells with the filling.
Yes, stuffing the shells before cooking may actually be easier. Just stuff your uncooked shells and let the sauce do the work in the oven. Cooking times will vary, though, so play around with it.
Veal Stuffed Manicotti
- 1 8 oz box manicotti shells
- 1 lbs ground veal
- salt and ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp olive oil divided
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 1 carrot chopped
- 1/4 red pepper seeded and chopped
- 1/4 green pepper seeded and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 teas lemon juice
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup marinara sauce divided
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
- Parmesan cheese for topping
- 6 cups spinach
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain and line on a baking sheet in a single layer until ready to use.
- Cook the ground veal in a preheated skillet over medium-high heat until browned on all sides. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon into a bowl and set aside to cool.
- In the now clean skillet, add 1 tbsp olive oil and swirl to cover the pan. Add in the onion, carrot, and peppers and saute until softened 7 to 10 minutes.
- Add in the garlic and cook 30 seconds until aromatic. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
- Melt the butter into the pan and whisk in the flour to coat everything evenly.
- Whisk in the wine and lemon juice and deglaze the pan as needed.
- Slowly whisk in the heavy cream, being sure no heavy clumps remain. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, whisking often. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 cup of marinara sauce.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the ricotta and parsley. Stir in the cooked ground veal.
- Spoon the remaining 1/2 cup marinara sauce over the bottom of a baking dish.
- Fill the manicotti evenly with the ricotta mixture and arrange each manicotti in the pan. Spoon 2 cups of the blush sauce over the manicotti and sprinkle parmesan on top.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the sauce is bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- While the veal stuffed manicotti cools, pre-heat a skillet over medium heat.
- Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan.
- Add the spinach one cup at a time, tossing to coat the spinach and season with salt.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover and let the spinach wilt a few minutes.
- Arrange the wilted spinach onto serving plates and spoon manicotti’s onto each dish.
- Garnish with more chopped parsley if desired.