2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
This recipe makes 30-35 shells
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound italian sausage
salt to taste
1 1/4 Cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 eggs, beaten
3 cups spaghetti sauce, divided
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1.Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onions until translucent. Saute garlic for 1 minute and stir in sausage. Cook until well browned and crumbled. Season with salt and set aside to cool.
2.Cook spinach according to package directions.
3.To the sausage mixture add the cooked spinach and ricotta cheese. When the mixture is cool, add the beaten eggs.
4.Spread 1/4 cup spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Gently stuff each manicotti shells with meat and cheese mixture; place shells in prepared dish.
5.Prepare the white sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in flour .Increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring constantly, until it begins to bubble. Stir in half and half and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in parsley. Pour or ladle the sauce evenly over the stuffed pasta.
6.Stir the basil into the remaining spaghetti sauce. Carefully pour or ladle spaghetti sauce over the white sauce.
7.Cover and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes more.
* This looks like its a lot of work but it really came together pretty fast. I made the shells first and then while the meat was cooking I was making the white sauce at the same time so that it was all done together and ready to put into the oven. The shells were a lot like crepes while I was making them but when they are filled and stuffed they tasted just like noodles without that rubbery store bought noodle taste. They were really good and fast and simple to make. The whole family loved this and I am sure that I will make it again. I give it a 4 1/2