With all of this freezing weather and snow in the forecast, the only thing I want to do is to cuddle up with some delicious comfort food. This short rib manicotti is the perfect winter dish – it’s cheesy, filling, and oh-so-good. It does have quite a few steps, but nothing is really over-the-top difficult. It’s a great dish to make over a weekend and to freeze it for dinner later, or to eat leftovers for a few days after.
I made these into manicotti, but if you don’t want to do that process, you can easily turn this into a traditional lasgna; just layer everything as you would normally. The short ribs are melt in your mouth tender, and, because I love fontina, I had to throw a generous amount in here. Short ribs are definitely one of my favorites (I’ve made them here, here, & here) and this is a recipe that I’ve adapted that I’ve been making for years. It’s actually delicious just over regular pasta, but this bake makes it really decadent.
Happy Friday, indeed.
- For the short ribs:
- 4 pounds beef short ribs
- Salt and pepper
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 14oz can of whole peeled tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup of red wine
- 2 Tbsp grainy mustard
- 2 cups beef broth
- For the pasta bake:
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 2 cups milk
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 4-5 sheets of fresh lasagna pasta
- 1 cup of fontina, shredded, plus more for the top
- Basil, for serving
- Begin by preheating the oven to 325 degrees. Season the short ribs liberally on all sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large dutch oven over medium high heat and pour in enough oil to coat the bottom. Add in the short ribs and sear on all sides until brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from pan.
- Add in the onions and garlic and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add in the tomatoes, wine and grainy mustard, and scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil. Add the short ribs back in and cover with beef broth. Cover with a lid and place in the oven for 2 and 1/2 hours.
- Remove short ribs from sauce and let sit until cool enough to handle. Shred the short ribs and place in a bowl. For the rest of the sauce, skim the fat off the top. Then pour about 2 cups over the short ribs and return to a pan on the stove to keep warm. Reserve the rest of the sauce for serving.
- To make the bechamel, in a medium pot over medium high heat, melt the butter until foaming. Add the flour and whisk until the flour has been cooked through and is golden, about 3-4 minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and bring to a boil, whisking continuously until thickened. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a large pot of boiling water, cook the fresh lasagna sheets until pliable, but not cooked all the way through - about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the water and let cool.
- To make the manicotti, take a sheet of the cooked lasagna pasta and spread a layer of the short ribs on the length of the bottom (hot-dog style). Sprinkle some of the fontina on top, then roll, from top to bottom, into a long, skinny tube. Repeat with remaining pasta sheets and filling. Cut the tubes into two inch sections with a sharp knife.
- To assemble, place 3/4 of the bechamel on the bottom of an oven proof baking dish. Place the manicotti, upright so that the filling is facing up, tightly into the dish. Sprinkle with more fontina on top and the rest of the bechamel.
- Bake, covered, at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and completely melted.
- To serve, take a little of the reserved braising liquid and place on the bottom of a plate and top with the manicotti and basil, if desired.
Short rib recipe adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis