(8 main dish servings)
- 1 lb. Italian sweet sausage links
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 16 oz. cans tomato puree
- 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 2 tbsp. parsley, chopped
- 1 8 oz. package manicotti shells
- 4 cups ricotta cheese
- 1 8 oz. package mozzarella cheese
- Parmesan cheese
In covered 5 quart Dutch oven. Over medium heat, in 1/4 cup water, cook sausage links 5 minutes. Uncover, brown well, drain on paper towel.
Spoon fat from Dutch oven. over medium heat brown ground beef and onions, stir in tomato puree, paste, sugar, pepper, 1 tsp. basil, 1 tsp. salt, 1 cup water; simmer, covered 45 minutes.
Cut sausage into bite-size pieces; add to mixture and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook manicotti as label directs; drain. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine ricotta and mozzarella (diced) cheeses, parsley, 3/4 tsp. basil, 1/2 tsp salt; stuff into shells.
Spoon half of meat sauce into 13" x 9" baking dish. Place half of shells over sauce in one layer. Spoon remaining sauce, except 3/4 cup, over shells, top with remaining shells in one layer. Spoon reserved meat sauce over top. Sprinkle with parmesan. Bake 30 minutes.