Cooking Beef Manicotti — Photos

A relatively long time ago, a neighbour brought over some stuffed pasta rolls au gratin, and they were rather tasty. I liked them so much that I decided to replicate them, and added the recipe to my repertoire of personal recipes.

I recently made a batch of my manicotti, and I took a lot of pictures.

First, I finely ground some carrots in a food processor:

Finely ground carrots

As a side note, I use carrots because I love carrots, and at the time it seemed perfectly natural to me add ground carrots to the filling mix.

I also add ground onions, which to me are also a natural pairing with the beef. The two ingredients extend the beef used in order to stuff more manicotti shells, or conversely, as tasty fillers, reduce the amount of ground beef required.

Then I ground some onions, effectively rendering them liquid:

Ground onions, at this point in near-liquid form

Ground beef was placed in an electric skillet:

Ground beef placed in an electric skillet

The ground carrots and ground onions were added to the beef in the electric skillet:

The mixture of beef, ground carrots, and ground onion placed in an electric skillet

The ground beef was broken up with a spatula, and mixed together with the ground carrots and ground onions.

Ground beef broken up and mixed together with the ground carrots and ground onions

The mixture was fried, while being constantly mixed:

The mixture of beef, ground carrots, and ground onion frying

At this point, I was getting a little thirsty, so I served myself some homebrew (an Irish Stout):

A serving of some of my homebrew, an Irish Stout

Next, some manicotti shells were taken out of their box:

Manicotti shells in the plastic trays from the box bought at a store.

The manicotti shells were then boiled, six at a time, in salted water with olive oil for five minutes:

Six manicotti shells in boiling water

The manicotti shells were then drained:

Manicotti shells in a strainer

At this point, I stuffed the manicotti shells, six at a time, with the cooked meat, carrot, and onion mixture, holding a cooling manicotti shell in one hand, while transferring the meat mixture using a small dessert spoon.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of me filling the shells — my hands were dirty and greasy, and I didn’t ask for a photographer’s helper. 🙁

At this point, I may have been getting a bit tipsy from my beer, so I drank some iced tea to help deal with the effects of the beer.

I drink lots and lots and lots of iced tea every day!

I stuffed a total of 22 manicotti shells. The stuffed manicotti shells were then placed in oven-proof and microwave-safe containers:

22 stuffed manicotti shells

Tomato sauce — in this case, a commercial beef and pork tomato sauce — was spread on top of the stuffed manicotti shells.

Tomato sauce spread on top of the manicotti

Mozzarella cheese was sliced off the block and laid on top of the manicotti.

Sliced mozzarella cheese laid on top of the manicotti

Freezer bags were identified with the intended contents and the date.

Freezer bags identified with contents and date

The manicotti containers were then placed in the bags, and then frozen.

Beef manicotti in freezer bags, ready to place in the freezer

When cooking, I defrost the manicotti, sometimes add a bit more cheese on top, start to reheat the manicotti in a microwave oven while preheating a countertop oven to 350F, and bake the manicotti until the cheese on the top is a desired level of browned and the sauce is bubbling up on the sides.

Are they tasty? Of course they are!

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