Meaty Manicotti

04

This conversation happens pretty much weekly in my house:

Me (to Tom): Anything in particular you want to eat next week?
Tom: Hmm, not really.
Me:  Well, can you give me some ideas? I don’t want to do this on my own again.
Tom: I’ll try to think of some.

Tom starts doing work/falls asleep/plays video games while I begrudgingly finish making both a menu and a grocery list, which have become the bane of my existence as of late.

Tom: How about ____?
Me: I already made the list NO THANKS TO YOU.

So, yeah. BUT! Recently I asked this, expecting things to go as they normally do, and he suggested meaty manicotti. I was surprised both at the suggestion at and the specificity of his request. This dish is one our family really likes, and since I needed a Sunday meal, it was the perfect idea.

This is kind of your standard pasta-with-meatsauce dish, but there is a secret ingredient to make the “meaty” in its moniker even more so – pepperoni. The flavor is a background one, adding more saltiness and just a liiiittle bit of spice the mixture, but it works so well. Also, there is a lot of cheese. Boatloads of cheese. Pantsloads of cheese.  I reduced the amount and probably could have reduced it a bit further. Even lessened, we’re talking over 2 lbs. of cheese. I was able to make more than 16 manicotti, so after eating it for dinner and having a couple days’ worth of leftovers, we were still able to freeze some. I guess the good news is that cheese goes a long way.

Let me just get out of the way that I think cannelloni is a better descriptor for this than manicotti (I just know a full-blooded Italian is going to send me a ragey email or something, hah). Don’t shoot the messenger! Take it up with ATK if you have a problem. 😉

Meaty Manicotti