This was my daughter Jenny's favorite dinner growing up, and she would request it every birthday. It is also one of my favorites. It is SO simple, that I was a little embarrassed about putting it on my food blog, but I decided that there might be busy mothers out there who want a quick and very easy idea for a dinner.
A nice change from spagetti!
Cut 14 pieces of mozzarella cheese about 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide and the length of the manicotti noodles.
Rinse the cooked manicotti noodles in cold water, and put a piece of cheese in each one.
I cook mine in a square microwave-safe casserole dish, but you could also do it in the oven if you wanted.
Quick and Easy Manicotti
from my mom
1 box of manicotti noodles (14 in a box)
1/2 lb of ground beef
about 1 lb of mozzarella cheese (good quality like Cache Valley)
1 bottle of spaghetti sauce (I like Prego)
Bring about 2 quarts of salted water to a boil in a 3 quart saucepan. Add the manicotti noodles and stir gently to make sure they don't stick to together. Cook for 7-8 minutes until tender. Remove from heat and put cold water into the pan until cool enough to handle. Drain water off.
In a frying pan, brown the ground beef, seasoning it with salt and pepper. Add the bottle of spaghetti sauce and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Cut the mozzarella into 14 sticks about 1/4-1/2 " wide and around the length of the manicotti noodles. (this is all extremely variable - just cut the cheese you have into 14 sticks)
Assemble the manicotti by spreading enough of the sauce to cover the bottom of the microwave-safe pan. Put a piece of the cheese into each manicotti noodle and laying them side by side on top of the sauce. Finish by pouring the rest of the meat sauce over the noodles. Cover and microwave for about 10 minutes at 50% power, or until the cheese is melted.