Recipe: Italian Three Cheese Manicotti With Ground Elk
Manicotti is one of my favorite types of pasta to eat. The perfect ratio of meat and cheese filling inside of a giant shell provides the ideal combination of ingredients in every bite. This simple yet delicious recipe has all of your favorite Italian flavors - creamy and rich ricotta cheese, fresh basil, tomato sauce and butter. I used our free range ground elk for this recipe instead of the traditional beef. I loved how it turned out - our elk is delicately flavored and tender. I’m confident this would taste amazing with any of our ground meats, whether you choose elk, bison, American Wagyu beef, wild boar or lamb. In fact, this would be an excellent dish to cook with our bison or beef primal blend. These specially formulated ground blends contain 20% organ meat to give you all of the nutritional benefit without sacrificing flavor.
Elk Meat Raised The Way Nature Intended
Our elk live completely free range, roaming on 20,000 to 100,000 acre ranches. We source from two locations, one being the Rocky Mountains of the United States. The other source that fit our strict quality standards was an elk ranch in the pristine mountain valleys of New Zealand. They wander as they please, grazing and foraging as they engage in all of their natural instinctive behaviors. As with all of our meat, these animals are never administered hormones, antibiotics or steroids of any kind. Elk is some of the most delicious and healthy meat you can eat, considered by many to be the most heart healthy meat in existence. Chefs love using our elk for its delicate flavor and outstanding tenderness.
- 4 teaspoons melted butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 pound ground elk
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 oz manicotti pasta, uncooked
- 1 15oz container ricotta cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 jar marinara sauce
- Heat a teaspoon of butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add in the chopped onion and sauté for a couple minutes, then add in the ground elk. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking up the meat into crumbles. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Continue to cook just until the meat is browned and the onions are tender. Remove the mixture from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Grease a baking sheet with one teaspoon of melted butter. Set aside.
- Cook the manicotti pasta in a large pot of salted water. This will not be to cook the noodles completely but rather to pre-cook them slightly. Cook for approximately 4 minutes until only slightly softened. Remove from the pot and set aside on the prepared baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, 1 cup Parmesan and all of the chopped fresh basil and minced garlic. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the meat mixture to the cheese mixture and combine.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease a 13x9 inch baking dish with the remaining melted butter. Add half of the marinara sauce in the bottom of the dish. Use a spoon to fill the manicotti with the meat and cheese mixture. Place the filled manicotti in one layer on top of the marinara sauce, followed by the remaining sauce. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese evenly over top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
The Beck & Bulow Team Is Here To Help
At Beck & Bulow, we pride ourselves on our excellent customer service. We’re always here to help if you have any questions regarding your meat, want help making selections, or are just looking for some cooking tips. Every time you call our office, you’ll be directly connected with one of our team members right here in Santa Fe, New Mexico where we’re based.
Every cut of meat is pressure sealed and flash frozen immediately after butchering at the peak of freshness. We work exclusively with master butchers who make every cut with care and precision. All orders are hand packed at our Santa Fe warehouse, shipped in a reusable cooler with dry ice and delivered straight to your doorstep. Check out our selections of humanely raised chicken, elk, bison, beef, lamb, wild boar, pork and seafood.