Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Food: Manicotti

This Manicotti recipe is a fave in our house. If I'm pushed for time, I will sometimes use 1.5 jars of pasta sauce and simmer it for 10 minutes with the fresh basil (and add meat if we are making it a meat sauce) while I'm prepping the filling. These reheat really well the next day and you can freeze them before cooking them - just thaw 1-2 days in the refrigerator and then cook :)
Manicotti - adapted from Cook's Country
Tomato Sauce
2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional - gives the sauce "heat")
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 lb. ground beef (optional, sometimes we use beef to make a meat sauce, sometimes we keep it meatless)

Cheese Filling and Pasta
2 cups (15-16 oz.) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
1.5 - 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 egg
1 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
10-12 lasagna noodles

Pulse tomatoes in a food processor until chopped, about 4 or 5 pulses. Heat oil, garlic and red pepper flakes in a large skillet over medium heat 3-4 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, salt, and basil and simmer about 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, boil lasagna noodles until al dente. Drain and set each noodle on a dishtowel.

To make the filling: combine ricotta, 3/4 cup parmesan, mozzarella, egg, parsley, basil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Spoon onto each lasagna noodle (eyeball it to evenly distribute the mixture between all the noodles). Roll up each noodle.
Spoon and spread about 1/2 cup of the sauce into the bottom of a 7"x11" baking dish. Place rolled manicottis, seam side down, in the dish.
Spoon the rest of the sauce over top of the manicottis, making sure all edges of the pasta are covered.
Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese on top. Broil for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Serve with crusty French bread and a fresh salad. Enjoy! :)


  1. It looks delicious!! I love it! >w<

  2. Hi Ashley,
    I have celiac disease and Italian food is one of the most painful subjects to me.
    When I saw your manicotti I got my mouth salivating and last night I decide to give a try.
    Using rice lasanha past and everything else you suggested I made the most delicious manicotti.
    Even my pick daughter wanted to try and end up eating 3 manicottis.
    Thanks a lot for the inspiration!
    With love,
    Djana Venolia