Daily Archives: March 9, 2018

Three Cheese Manicotti

Winter doesn’t want to end its grip on us.  We did have one nice day in February when it actually seemed like Spring.

I suppose the winter weather gives us an opportunity to cook up some comfort food.  One of my favorite Italian-American comfort foods is manicotti, and it is also very easy to make.

Manicotti are a cheesy stuffed pasta and usually topped with a tomato sauce.  Spinach is quite often added to the filling.  Some cooks like to make homemade crepes to stuff the filling in.  This recipe uses the dry manicotti shells that are typically boiled before filling.  The filling can vary but I prefer one made of ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses.  The pasta is then baked in a homemade or jarred tomato sauce.  I used my homemade tomato sauce for pasta and the recipe can be found here.

Manicotti are similar to cannelloni in Italy.  DeLallo, a US company that produces specialty Italian food, has an interesting article on the two pastas here.

Three Cheese Manicotti

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 box (14 shells) manicotti
15 ounces ricotta cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3-4 cups tomato sauce, homemade or your favorite jarred sauce

1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Cook the manicotti shells in boiling water for 5 minutes.  Drain and lay on baking sheet lined with parchment paper to dry and cool.  Cover with paper towels while cooling.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.  Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce along the bottom of the dish.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese,  parmesan cheese, eggs, basil, salt and pepper until smooth.  Fill each cooked manicotti with the cheese mixture.  (Use either a disposable pastry bag or ziplock bag (quart or gallon size) snipped at the corner to fill the manicotti.)

After filling each manicotti, place it into the sauce-lined baking dish.  Pour the remaining sauce over the shells.  Cover with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling.  Uncover, top with the remaining mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.  Bake for another 10 minutes.  Let rest 5 minutes before serving.  Serve with additional tomato sauce if desired.  

1.  I divided the manicotti between two baking trays and froze one for later use.
2.  When you boil the manicotti shells, don’t over cook them.  They will be less likely to tear when filling them.


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