Meaty Manicotti


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

4 thoughts on “Meaty Manicotti

  1. My mom has a general 365-day plan. She has several recipes for each month and so each year, she makes the same thing right around the same time. She does try a lot of new recipes, but it serves as a guide. She also follows a weekly plan. For example, chicken Monday, pork Tuesday, etc. and for breakfast, eggs Mondays and Thursdays, oatmeal Tuesdays and Saturdays, etc. I don’t have a plan like that. I have a handful of favorite recipes and I make them over and over throughout the whole year. I don’t pay any attention to the season. I’m happy to have soup in the summer and smoothies in the winter.

  2. Also, you might like this book: I Almost Divorced My Husband but I Went on Strike Instead, by Sherri Mills. It caught my eye at the library and I couldn’t put it down. I spent the next hour or two reading it. The author is a hairdresser who kept seeing her clients going through the same thing – the wives were doing all the laundry, meals, dishes, cleaning, yardwork, and taking care of the kids while the husbands took naps and watched football games. Then, when the wives filed for divorce, the husbands couldn’t figure out what had happened. Then, the cycle repeated itself after they got new spouses. Her husband’s job was in working with union contracts, so she prepared plans and backup plans and then went on strike. At the end, they sat down and listed all chores and divided them fairly among all family members. The funniest part was a story about one wife who offered to trade places with her husband after he complained about always having to wait around for her to be ready to go somewhere. She said she would be happy to sit in the car and honk the horn while he got their three daughters dressed and did their hair, etc. 🙂

    1. Thankfully, my husband is super helpful in tasks that do not require menu planning. He does 100% of the vacuuming for example. 😉

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