Yield
Makes 6 servings

How to Make It

Step 1

Cook pasta according to package directions; rinse with cold water. Drain.

Step 2

Process tomato sauce and diced tomatoes in a blender 20 seconds or until smooth. Set aside.

Step 3

Remove casings from sausage, and discard. Cook sausage in large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until meat crumbles and is no longer pink. Stir in cream cheese, ricotta cheese, and 2 cups mozzarella cheese. Spoon into manicotti shells; arrange stuffed shells in lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

Step 4

Pour tomato mixture over shells; sprinkle with remaining 2 cups mozzarella cheese.

Step 5

Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Let casserole stand 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle top with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

Step 6

Note: Casserole may be assembled and frozen up to 1 month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight; bake, covered, at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 more minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. If you prefer a smaller casserole, use 2 (11- x 7-inch) baking dishes. Proceed as directed.

Step 7

Ground Beef and Tomato Manicotti: Substitute 1 pound lean ground beef for sausage. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and 1 teaspoon fennel seed. Proceed as directed.

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