Updated: Jun 8, 2021
Inspired by The Art of Italian Cooking
Manicotti, meaning ‘little sleeve’ not only refers to the dish itself but also the pasta that forms a major part of the recipe. The pasta is a large, tubular shape, similar to cannoli. Traditionally, manicotti are stuffed with cheese and meat, then baked with tomato sauce in a casserole dish— a very comforting meal. This particular manicotti recipe suggests making your own pasta dough for a particularly fresh, melt in your mouth taste. I recommend making the dough from scratch; however, you can also buy either pasta sheets or shells from the store. (Note: if you are opting for store-bought manicotti shells, follow the instructions on the packet as they may take longer to cook).
I loved recreating this dish. I found that the filling was versatile. You can choose to just fill the dough with the ricotta filling, or add asparagus . For my vegetarian daughter, I would swap prosciutto for peppers and zucchini, or if you find parmesan too sharp for your liking, I suggest replacing it with Taleggio cheese.
1 lb. all-purpose flour
1 cup lukewarm water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lb butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 (28 ounce can) whole tomatoes
1 teaspoon dry basil
1 lb. ricotta
3 ounces prosciutto, sliced
1/2 cup grated Romano
salt and pepper
Additional filling options:
Roasted Red peppers
Yields: serving for 4
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
To make manicotti from scratch, mix the flour with the butter, eggs and salt.
Now add enough water to make a soft dough. Knead into a smooth ball.
Cut into small pieces and feed through a pasta machine until you get thin layers.
Cut the dough into a 5 X 6 inches shape.
Now to make the tomato sauce. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil, add in the onions and cook until translucent.
Add in the garlic, basil and the tomatoes. Simmer on low for 20 minutes.
Puree the sauce in either a food processor or with a hand held emulsifier.
In a bowl, mix the ricotta with the prosciutto, eggs and grated Romano cheese.
Place one to one and a half tablespoons of the stuffing on a layer of pasta; add the vegetables and roll (continue until all the stuffing is used). Place one cup of the tomato sauce in a casserole dish. Top with the manicotti, seem side down, and side by side.
Top with the remainder of tomato sauce.
Bake in a 350° F oven, covered for 15-20 minutes.
Uncover and bake for 10 more minutes until its cooked through.
Sprinkle with grated Romano. Serve warm.