ITALIAN SAUSAGE & CHEESE BAKED MANICOTTI
1.25 pounds Italian sausage
8 ounces manicotti pasta tubes
1 onion, finely diced
3/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese (divided)
8 ounces mozzarella, shredded (divided)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 Egg, slightly beaten
1 24-ounces jar spaghetti sauce
2 c. chopped fresh spinach
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Step 1: Following the package directions, cook the manicotti.
Step 2: If needed, take the Italian sausage from the casings. Place in a large skillet and cook, breaking into pieces until the sausage is cooked through and browned. Then, add the spinach and cook further until the spinach has wilted. If needed, drain the excess grease from the skillet.
Step 3: Take the sausage mixture off the heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes. Then, add 1 cup shredded mozzarella, half cup grated Parmesan, egg, garlic powder, and season with salt & pepper. Stir well until blended.
Step 4: Using a cooking spray, grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Into the bottom of the dish, spread a half cup of the spaghetti sauce.
Step 5: When the manicotti is done, drain and fill each tube with the meat mixture. In the prepared baking dish, place the stuffed manicotti. You can stick the remaining meat mixture into the corners and/or crumbled it over the manicotti.
Step 6: With the rest of the sauce, cover the manicotti. Using aluminium foil, tightly tent the manicotti. Place in a preheated 375 degrees oven for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly.
Step 7; Uncover and top the manicotti with the rest of the mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes or until the cheese has melted and turned lightly golden.
Step 8: Remove from the oven when done and allow the manicotti to rest for at least 15 minutes. Then, serve garnished with some fresh chopped parsley.