Meat lovers – rejoice! Today’s recipe – our fantastic Meat Lovers Manicotti Stracotto-Style – is just for you!
This Meat Lovers Manicotti Stracotto-Style is a delicious, meat-filled twist on a classic cheese-stuffed manicotti recipe – and the results are truly memorable!
Stracotto is an Italian pot roast – typically a slow-braised cut of beef or veal. Translated, “stracotto” means “overcooked” in Italian. We made this Meat Lovers Manicotti Stracotto-Style using a mix of veal, beef and chicken and braised it along with onions, garlic, carrots, and celery – plus a fragrant and flavorful mix of bay leaves, cinnamon, rosemary, basil and whole peppercorns.
Once the meat is cooked and fork-tender, we created a meat, egg and cheese filling and stuffed the manicotti shells. The manicotti are layered in a pan, and smothered in our Italian Tomato Sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese.
This Meat Lovers Manicotti Stracotto-Style is unlike any manicotti I’ve ever eaten before! The blend of meats as well as the spices and herbs added to the filling are rich, savory and delicious.
The meat filling in this recipe can also be used to fill homemade ravioli, tortellini or any other stuffed pasta. You can mix up a batch, then freeze the filling to be used as needed.
Note: The meat can be cooked the day before or prepared all at once. You will need three hours to cook the meat before making the filling so leave yourself enough time.
- 1 pound veal (we used two meaty veal ribs we found on sale at our local market)
- 1 pound beef stew meat or chuck
- 1 pound skinless bone-in chicken thighs (about three thighs)
- 1 medium onion, peeled but left whole (about ½ pound)
- 2 whole cloves pressed into the onion
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces (about 6–8 ounces)
- 2 large stalks celery cut into large pieces (about 4–5 ounces)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 large fresh basil leaves
- 5 whole peppercorns
- 14–16 manicotti shells
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 ½ cups Italian Tomato Sauce (or your favorite jarred sauce)
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- In a 5 quart pot, place veal, beef, chicken, onion with attached cloves, carrots, celery, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, rosemary, basil and peppercorns. Pour in enough water to just cover the top of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and simmer partially covered for three hours. If water evaporates, add enough water to finish the three hour cooking time.
- While the meat cooks, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the manicotti to slightly under-cooked, about 7 minutes. Cool under cold water and hold for later.
- After three hours, cool, strain and pick out the beef, chicken and veal meat and discard the remaining bones and other solids. Reserve one cup of the liquid. You should have about 1 ½ pounds of meat.
- Place the meat in a food processor and pulse until finely ground, using the one cup of cooking liquid if needed to loosen the mixture until it is the consistency of a pate. We used the full cup.
- Mix the ground meat with the eggs, 1 ½ cups of Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. This will be the filling for the manicotti.
- Fill a large pastry bag (no tip) with the filling.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place one cup of the tomato sauce in a 9 X 13 or larger glass dish or pan and spread to coat the bottom. Use two pans if too crowded, depending on how many manicotti you are filling. We fit 14 in a 9 X 13 glass dish.
- Pick each manicotti up and slide the tip of the pastry bag into one end and into the center and squeeze in the filling. Turn it and fill the other side then place the filled manicotti in the prepared pan. Repeat for all manicotti.
- Pour the remaining 1½ cups of sauce over the manicotti and cover with the mozzarella and the remaining ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese.
- Cover the top with parchment paper and foil and bake for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
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