I'm full steam ahead still with my cooking a "week in a day" on Sundays...As you know, I get somewhat nervous when cooking anything italian since Anthony grew up in an Italianmakeyourowngravy household and I grew up in a Ragu casa...Hence my anxiety! At any rate, I found a few different manicotti casserole recipes online at allrecipes.com and decided to embark on my own creation using turkey meat instead of ground beef. Since I made this for the next day, I put everything together and put in the fridge-you can make this the night of though...Let the starting line up reveal itself...
1 pound rigatoni pasta
1 pound ground turkey meat
1 jar (16 oz) of spaghetti sauce your choice
(I was out of my red sauce, so I used Renaldi Tomato and Basil)
1 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese
half cup of parmesan reggiano grated cheese
thinly sliced pepperonis
salt & pepper
half of an onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
13x9 lightly greased casserole dish
What to do next...
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil and pour the rigatoni and cook until al dente, about 8-10 minutes. Drain and set aside
Meanwhile, brown the onions and garlic for 3 minutes, then add the turkey meat, salt and pepper, and oregano.With a slotted spoon, remove turkey and onions to your baking dish. Stir in jar of sauce, parmesan reggiano cheese, cup of mozzarella cheese, and cooked pasta into baking dish and stir together well.
If your making this to eat a day or so later, let casserole cool, and cover with saran wrap and put in refrigerator.
When you're ready to make, preheat oven to 350, take out of fridge and remove saran wrap. Top with some pepperoni slices on top and sprinkle the rest of the bag of cheese on top of the casserole.
Bake in a preheated oven until the cheese is golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes
Serve with some yummy crusty garlic bread and bon appetito!
*If your making this to eat after preparation, preheat oven to 350 and bake for 20 minutes waiting for cheese to bubble. You can also add italian sausage or mushrooms if you would like. If you do add mushrooms,sausage, etc...be sure to add another jar of tomato sauce then (and a deeper casserole dish!)