Baked Manicotti

MMMMM one of my all time favorite Italian dishes. Comforting, delicious, and great as leftovers!! I found this recipe on Cook’s Illustrated and once again it was a huge hit! And the leftovers are even better!!

Makes for a great Lenten meal as it is meatless but very filling and satisfying!

I did use manicotti noodles, not the no boil ones as suggested as I couldn’t find them. To fill them, I used a pastry bag with a portion snipped off the end. Carefully squeeze in a bit of the cheese mix to one end of the manicotti noodle. Then fill the other side to help prevent breakage! Squeeze the mixture in slowly. Using the bag fitted inside the noodle makes filling them a breeze. It worked perfectly and no rips!

ENJOY!

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Ingredients:

Tomato Sauce
2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes (in juice)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 tablespoon)
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes , optional
  Table salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Cheese Filling and Pasta
3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 cups)
8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (about 2 cups)
2 large eggs , lightly beaten
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
16 no-boil lasagna noodles (see note above)

Directions:

1. For the Sauce: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Pulse 1 can tomatoes with their juice in food processor until coarsely chopped, 3 or 4 pulses. Transfer to bowl. Repeat with remaining can tomatoes.

2. Heat oil, garlic, and pepper flakes (if using) in large saucepan over medium heat until fragrant but not brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Stir in basil; adjust seasoning with salt.

3. For the cheese filling: Combine ricotta, 1 cup Parmesan, mozzarella, eggs, salt, pepper, and herbs in medium bowl; set aside.

4. To assemble: Pour 1 inch boiling water into 13 by 9-inch broilersafe baking dish, then add noodles one at a time. Let noodles soak until pliable, about 5 minutes, separating noodles with tip of sharp knife to prevent sticking. Remove noodles from water and place in single layer on clean kitchen towels; discard water in baking dish and dry baking dish.

5. Spread bottom of baking dish evenly with 1 1/2 cups sauce. Using soupspoon, spread 1/4 cup cheese mixture evenly onto bottom three-quarters of each noodle (with short side facing you), leaving top quarter of noodle exposed. Roll into tube shape and arrange in baking dish seam side down. Top evenly with remaining sauce, making certain that pasta is completely covered.

6. Cover manicotti with aluminum foil. Bake until bubbling, about 40 minutes, then remove foil. Remove baking dish, adjust oven rack to uppermost position (about 6 inches from heating element), and heat broiler. Sprinkle manicotti evenly with remaining 1 cup Parmesan. Broil until cheese is spotty brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Cool 15 minutes, then serve.

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3 Comments on “Baked Manicotti”

  1. oneparticularkitchen says:

    Can you believe I’ve never made manicotti? You make this look do-able! Thanks!

  2. Megan says:

    I just made manicotti the other day – I used crepes instead of the hollow tubes. They are awesome and I wish I made them more often!

  3. Sara says:

    I’ve never made manicotti or even had it, but this looks great!


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