Trying something new–stuffed manicotti

I’m a creature of habit. I tend to cook the same things for my family. I order the same things off menus of familiar restaurants. I’m not that spontaneous. And I steer clear of certain aisles in the grocery store all together.

So when Husband came home with portobello mushroom smoked chicken sausage, I thought what the hell am I doing to do with that?

Husband offered to eat the links raw, which convinced me he really is the rugged mountain man I thought he was.

Instead, I went to the store, picked up a few easy ingredients, came home and cooked THE BEST pasta dish EVER. It tasted like something we ordered from Macaroni Grill. Husband kept blinking at me during dinner, like I was a mirage…wearing a chef’s hat.

So, of course, I want to share the recipe with you. It’s easy cheesy.

Portobello Mushroom Sausage and Cheese Manicotti


1 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 cup dry red wine. (I used a 2008 Gnarly Head Merlot)

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes

dashes of Italian seasoning

15 oz ricotta cheese

2 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded or diced

3 oz Parmesan cheese, graded

3 links portobello mushroom sausage, chopped


10 manicotti shells


Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onions and garlic, saute until translucent. Add red wine, tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside.

In medium mixing bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheeses. Stir in sausage and season with pepper to taste.

Boil manicotti. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread 1/4 cup sauce along bottom of oiled 13x9x2 glass dish. Fill each pasta shell with about 1/3 cup cheese-sausage mix. Arrange stuffed manicotti in single layer in dish and cover with remaining sauce. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese over top. Bake uncovered until heated through and bubbling, 20-30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

That’s it! Easy, right? This isn’t a dish I’d make frequently, but it’s definitely going to be one we treat ourselves with from time to time.

To top it off, Husband did the dishes after dinner! Score!

**WRITING UPDATE: Vampires of Crimson Bay Book #2 will have a title and cover soon. I can’t wait to share them with you! Intervamption continues to get great reviews–THANK YOU, readers! I’m chugging away through Book 3 in the Vampires of Crimson Bay Series. Tentative finish date is November. (I’m really gonna need Fall rain to get me through.)


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