Hunting and fishing camp cooks are always looking for a tasty, fast, and filling way to feed their hungry campers. Cooking facilities are often limited to a propane grill and a campfire. Dutch Ovens are the Camp Cooks favorite cooking tool.
Cheese filled Manicotti is a hungry man favorite but normally takes a lot of time to prepare. Here is a way to make this tasty dish fast and in a hurry!
You will be baking this one pot dish in a cast iron Dutch Oven. Feel free to coat the oven with foil, or a smaller inserted baking pan. If you have several campers, make the recipe in a couple of ovens. A final oven can be for the garlic bread. Use the recipe that I posted called “Breaking Bread”.
1 box of Manicotti shells. 8 oz.
1 lb. ground beef
Garlic salt or 1 minced garlic clove
½ cup of diced onion
1 jar of pasta sauce
12 pieces of string cheese
1 ½ cups of shredded mozzarella cheese.
Italian spices/ seasoning. Fresh basil is always nice.
Start with uncooked Manicotti shells. Shove a string cheese stick into each pasta shell. Spray the pan/dish with some oil and lay the loaded logs across the bottom.
Cook the ground beef with the spices and onions.
Now, dump the sauce onto the pasta logs. Sprinkle the spices, onion, and cooked meat on top.
Now add water to the pasta jar. Fill to just half and put the lid back onto the jar. Shake the jar to dissolve any left-over sauce and slowly dump the water slurry onto the logs. I usually dump it around the edges. The water will cook the pasta and become absorbed into the dish.
You could cook the manicotti ahead of time and stuff them with cheese sticks. If you use cooked pasta, do not add water to the dish.
350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Less time if you are using cooked pasta. Longer if you are using uncooked pasta. Cover the dish with foil, or the lid of the Dutch oven.
Before serving, add the cheese on top and cover for another 5 minutes. Add some fresh basil on top for a fragrant topping. Rest the meal for 10 minutes and serve.
This is a pretty fancy dinner for such a rustic camp setting. All the campers will be impressed. You may need to make 2 batches. Normally, 2 pasta logs are served per one camper serving. The cheese bread and a fresh salad will set the entire meal off! Make a simple fresh salad dressing from oil and vinegar or use Bleu cheese, sour cream, spices, and mayo to build a homemade blue cheese salad dressing.