Manicotti. There are about as many recipes for the stuffed pasta dish as there are nonnas in Italy although we’re partial to this one made with Parmesan and ricotta cheeses. Originally published February 7, 2004.–Renee Schettler Rossi
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.
Add the remaining ingredients, then raise the heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Simmer for 30 minutes.
The sauce can be stored for up to 5 days in the refrigerator and several months in the freezer.
Assemble the manicotti
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C) and set a large pot of water on the stove top to boil.
In a bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, Parmesan, parsley, and salt and pepper. Set this filling aside.
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.
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.
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.
This manicotti recipe was excellent. It was easy to make, and even though canned tomatoes were used, the sauce had a “zesty freshness” quality to it. Any leftover sauce is a great for dipping when served with toasted garlic-bread fingers.