My friend, Sarah is working on a wonderful idea called Project STIR.
Sarah is hoping to tell the story of families and the recipes they love. She wants to share the laughter and the tears that have been shared over food and in the kitchen and preserve those memories for families and generations to come.
Dead Man’s Manicotti
My story of learning how to cook is not unlike that of many others. Cooking has been an integral part of my family as long as I can remember. Our family ate dinner together, at the table, most every night of my entire childhood. We often shared the work of cooking and cleaning. I don’t have any clear memories of learning how to cook because it was just something that we always did. Being in the kitchen was a part of growing up.
I can remember one evening when the task of making the meal was left to my sister and I.
Manicotti. A family favorite, simple enough for two early teenagers to execute without supervision.
At least one would think.
Mom had set out all of the ingredients and placed her recipe on the counter. All Amanda and I had to do was follow directions and place the casserole in the oven to bake.
I can recall our excitement over getting to prepare the meal. We felt grown up and felt as if we were getting to contribute to the family in a significant way by having dinner ready when mom and dad got home from work.
The ingredients and directions were simple enough.
- Manicotti Shells
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 egg
- 1/2 pound mozerella cheese
- 3 sliced of bread, diced
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon parsley
- 1 jar of marinara sauce
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- Cook the manicotti noodles according to the package directions. Set aside to cool until ready to use.
- Saute the meat in a tablespoon of olive oil until browned and cooked through. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Add mozzarella cheese, bread, milk and parsley to the meat.
- Fill the manicotti shells with the meat mixture and place into a buttered casserole dish and pour the sauce over the entire thing.
- Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes at 350.
- Remove the foil, sprinkle with parmesan and return to the oven for 10 minutes more.
In Mom’s original recipe the directions said, “Saute the meat until cooked. Mix in all the remaining ingredients except for the sauce and the parmesan.”
Amanda and I read “mix in all remaining ingredients” and failed to read the rest of the sentence.
We went to fill manicotti noodles with the meat mixture and were terribly confused as to why the meat mixture was more like soup than the thick, meat and cheese filling we were used to.
And then it dawned on us. We had failed to read “except for the sauce and parmesan”. We basically had soup instead of meat and cheese filled noodles topped with cheese.
Dinner still needed to be made and served so we improvised. We chopped the noodle into bite-sized pieces and mixed it in with the saucy meat and cheese mixture.
It looked terrible but tasted great. We called our dish “Dead Man’s Manicotti”.
I would HIGHLY recommend my mom’s recipe. Just be sure to read all of the instructions!