Manicotti with Parmesan and ricotta cheese. Sorta sounds like something an Italian nonna would make, doesn’t it? Here’s how you can experience it even if you don’t have a nonna.

White plate with two rolled manicotti on it

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


  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 2 H, 20 M
  • Makes 4 servings
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  • For Borgatti's marinara sauce
  • For the manicotti


Make the marinara sauce

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.

Print RecipeBuy the The Arthur Avenue Cookbook cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

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.

I was surprised that something so simple could be so good. I was impressed with the flavor of the manicotti. It was delicious without requiring any extravagant ingredients or difficult techniques.


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        1. Cynthia, if you’re purchasing them fresh you’ll probably find they are somewhere between 6 and 8 inches (15 and 20 cm) in length. If you’re making your own fresh pasta, I wouldn’t cut them any larger than 8 inches so that you can be sure they’ll fit in the baking dish.

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