Cheesy Pesto-Meatball Manicotti

Cheesy Pesto-Meatball Manicotti
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  1. 12 dried manicotti
  2. 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 ounces)
  3. 1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese (4 ounces)
  4. 1/2 cup finely chopped onion (1 medium)
  5. 1/2 cup finely chopped green sweet pepper (1 small)
  6. 1 egg, lightly beaten
  7. 2 tablespoons basil or dried tomato pesto
  8. 1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
  9. 3 cups Marinara Sauce or bottled tomato pasta sauce
  10. Fresh basil (optional)
  1. 1. Cook manicotti according to package directions, except cook for 2 minutes less than the package directs; drain. Place manicotti in a single layer on a sheet of greased foil.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl combine 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, the onion, sweet pepper, egg, and pesto. Add ground meat; mix well. Divide mixture into 12 portions. Shape each portion into a 5-inch log. Push a log into each manicotti; arrange filled manicotti in an ungreased 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Pour Marinara Sauce over filled manicotti.
  3. 3. Bake, covered, for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese and the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 10 minutes more or until cheeses are melted. If desired, garnish with fresh basil.