I tasted all components of this dish as I went along since there were some fairly mixed reviews by other members. Before I had even read the reviews, I knew that I would be subbing half of the beef for Italian sausage meat. I used Johnsonville mild italian sausage meat from my local grocery store. To my meat filling I added salt, pepper and a pinch or red pepper flakes. After reading a few reviews, I decided to play it safe with the white sauce and instead of adding all of the chicken stock right away, I added 1/4. Just a note, when making a roux it is equal parts fat and dry. Since I had taken away 3/4 of the chicken stock, I replaced that amount with flour so that my sauce would thicken properly. After tasting, I added almost all of the chicken stock back since you needed the salt and flavour to cut through the heavy cream flavour. For my red sauce, I used Best Marinara Sauce Yet from AR, made with Italian Stewed Tomates from AR which has always been a favourite of mine. There is no need to add additional basil to this sauce. To stuff the noodles, I used Jen G.'s technique of slicing the backside, spooning in the filling, rolling them back up and placing them slit side down in the pan. My 9x13 pan could only fit 8. I yielded about 20 from this recipe. I alternated red and white sauces in ribbons across the manicotti and baked as directed. When baking some of the leftovers a few days later, I used mozzarella instead of parmesan and pereferred the mozza. (WHEW!) :)
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I tasted all components of this dish as I went along since there were some fairly mixed...