Everyone has his own variation of marinara sauce. This version, from Borgatti’s Ravioli & Egg Noodles, in the Bronx, is basic and can be used whenever marinara is called for—the seasonings and herbs can be adjusted to taste.—Mario and Chris Borgatti
For borgatti’s marinara sauce
1/3 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Two 28-ounce cans peeled, crushed plum tomatoes with liquid
10 basil leaves, chopped, or 1 tablespoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped parsley, or 1 teaspoon dried
For the manicotti
1 pound ricotta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
8 squares fresh manicotti noodles
Borgatti’s Marinara Sauce
Make the marinara sauce
1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the oil. Saute the garlic, salt, and pepper for 5 minutes or until the garlic is softened.
2. Add the remaining ingredients, then raise the heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Simmer for 30 minutes.
3. The sauce can be stored for up to 5 days in the refrigerator and several months in the freezer.
Make the manicotti
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and set a large pot of water on the stove top to boil.
2. In a bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, Parmesan, parsley, and salt and pepper. Set this filling aside.
3. Cook the manicotti in boiling water for 1 minute. After they’ve cooked for 1 minute, remove the pot from the heat but do not drain the manicotti squares in a colander as the noodles often stick together. Instead, run cold water into the pot until you can fish the manicotti squares out safely with your fingers. Shake off the excess water as you remove each square. It is usually best to place the squares on a clean cloth to further blot them.
4. Lay the squares flat on a cloth, placing the filling across the center of the dough, leaving a little room at the edges on each side. Turn up the edge nearest you so that it lies on top of the filling. Now turn the edge farthest from you toward you so that it lies on top of the first edge. You now have a cannoli-like tube. Spread one ladleful of the sauce onto the bottom of a 9 x 12-inch baking pan.
5. Turn the manicotti over and place seam side down in the baking pan on top of the sauce. Continue until the pan has a layer of manicotti. Spoon two more ladlefuls of sauce over the top and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving. Serve with additional sauce for individual servings.
Recipe © 2004 Ann Volkwein. All rights reserved.