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Best Ricotta Manicotti Recipes

Best Ricotta Manicotti Recipes


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Ricotta Manicotti Shopping Tips

Italian food is about simplicity and letting the ingredients shine. So make sure you get ingredients that are great quality and flavor. Farmers markets and specialty stores will have great produce and products. Just be sure to have some great olive oil.

Ricotta Manicotti Cooking Tips

Unlike other highly regarded cuisines, Italian cooking is usually simple to make with many dishes having only 4 to 8 ingredients. Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.


EatingWell's Manicotti

Sue Palladino of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, learned to make many Italian specialties from her husband's family, including a sublime manicotti that uses thin crepes, or crespelle, to enclose the cheese filling. But after her husband's heart attack in 1994, she began to adapt her family's favorite Italian recipes to their new way of life. To make a more healthful version of manicotti, egg whites replace whole eggs, and part-skim replaces whole-milk ricotta in the lightened up filling.


Here’s a Super-Traditional Manicotti Recipe

When I was growing up, every holiday meal in my house started with pasta. If we were lucky, it was lasagna made with fresh pasta. Or (if we were really lucky!) my father’s famous manicotti, which were somehow both unbelievably light and incredibly decadent. There was something about them that always felt special and celebratory.

The trick to manicotti is to make the crepes as thin as you can and not to overstuff or oversauce them. The idea is to create a balance of the three components: crepe, filling and sauce. This is a great dish for entertaining, but also good for a (slightly ambitious) family dinner. The whole recipe only takes about an hour from start to finish.

Here’s a Super-Traditional Manicotti Recipe

  • Prep Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Serving Size: 12 manicotti

Ingredients

For the crepes
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • Vegetable oil, for greasing the pan
For the sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 leaves basil
For the filling
  • 1/2 pound ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 pound mozzarella, shredded or grated
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, grated
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt

Directions

To make the crepes:

1. Make the crepe batter by whisking together the eggs, milk, water and salt. Add in the flour, little by little, continuing to whisk until all flour is incorporated and you have a smooth batter with no lumps.

2. Cover the batter and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

To make the sauce:

1. Add olive oil and garlic cloves to a pot and cook over low heat until the garlic starts to sizzle, about 1 minute. Add in tomatoes, salt and basil.

2. Cook over medium heat just until the sauce begins to simmer, about 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat and reserve the sauce.

To make the manicotti:

1. Make the filling by adding the eggs to the ricotta and mixing. Fold in the Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, parsley and salt and mix well to fully incorporate. Refrigerate the mixture until you are ready to use it.

2. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Heat an 8-inch nonstick pan over low heat. Grease the pan very lightly by adding a bit of oil to the hot pan, then wiping with a paper towel.

3. Add in a scant 1/4 cup of the crepe batter, working quickly to swirl the batter around the pan to create a thin, even layer.

4. Cook until the batter starts to appear dry around the edges, about 20-30 seconds, taking care not to let the crepe brown. Flip over and cook on the other side, about 20-30 seconds.

5. Repeat with the remaining batter, regreasing the pan after every third crepe. Stack the crepes on top of each other as they are completed.

6. Cover the bottom of a large baking dish (or two smaller baking dishes) with a thin, even layer of sauce.

7. Assemble the manicotti by putting 2 tablespoons of filling about 1 inch from the top edge of a crepe. Roll the crepe, starting from the top, and flatten lightly. Place the crepe, seam-side down, in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining crepes and filling. The manicotti should be placed in a single layer in the baking dish, not stacked on top of each other.

8. Spread the remaining sauce on top of the manicotti and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling lightly.

9. Remove the manicotti from the oven and allow to rest for five minutes before serving to allow the filling to set.

Enjoy some more great pasta with these recipes from Food Republic:


  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 2 H, 20 M
  • Makes 4 servings

Ingredients US Metric

  • For Borgatti's marinara sauce
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Two (28-ounce) cans peeled, crushed plum tomatoes, with liquid
  • 10 basil leaves, chopped, or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley or 1 teaspoon dried
  • For the manicotti
  • 1 pound ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced flat leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 squares fresh manicotti noodles

Directions

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.

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.


They are both very similar, the only difference is manicotti, is a filled crepe or “crespelle” rather than pasta. Cannelloni, can be stuffed with the same filling, but uses pasta instead. The confusion is the pasta you purchase in the store to make cannelloni, is called manicotti.

Although they are both delicious, this recipe is made with the crespelles which I personally love. The delicate crepes give the manicotti a lightness you just don’t get with pasta. It does take a little extra time, so I save this dish for special occasions and holidays. You can double the recipe and freeze one of the trays.


Spinach Ricotta Manicotti

I recently made a lovely batch of creamy smooth ricotta cheese that I wanted to use in a baked pasta dish. I make lasagna and cannelloni all the time so I thought I’d try something a little different and picked up a package of manicotti noodles at my local grocery store. Manicotti are similar to cannelloni in that they are both stuffed tubes of pasta enclosing some type of filling that you top with a sauce and bake. Manicotti are a dried pasta tube however, while cannelloni are fresh pasta sheets that are rolled into a tube around the stuffing. I haven’t made manicotti for years, as I personally prefer my fresh pasta cannelloni, but I decided it was time to give manicotti a try once again.

Spinach and ricotta work well as a filling for any pasta, and filling the tubes is quite easy to accomplish. This is another good option for entertaining as you can prepare the pasta up to the point where it goes into the oven earlier in the day, and then simply pop it into the oven and bake it once your guests arrive. I used a chunky tomato sauce in my version, but you could also use a tomato puree and then add a few tablespoons of heavy cream to the sauce to create a tasty creamy sauce as well. Homemade ricotta cheese is very easy to make (see Making Ricotta Cheese At Home, but if you do not have the time, do choose good quality fresh ricotta when possible.


  • 6 ounces dry jumbo pasta shells (about 25 shells see note)
  • Kosher salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling and greasing the baking dish
  • 10 ounces (280g) tender fresh greens, such as arugula, spinach, or a combination
  • 1 pound (450g) good quality ricotta, such as Calabro or from a local Italian dairy
  • 12 ounces (340g) fresh or low-moisture mozzarella, shredded, divided (see note)
  • 2 ounces (55g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
  • 1 medium clove garlic, minced
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups (355ml) tomato sauce, such as Quick Tomato Sauce, Fresh Tomato Sauce, or Slow Cooked Tomato Sauce, divided

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook shells according to package instructions for baked shells (many packages of jumbo shells will give a specific boiling time for dishes that are subsequently baked if not, cook the shells for 3 minutes fewer than the stated cooking time). Using a spider, slotted spoon, or mesh strainer, carefully transfer shells to a large bowl of cold water until cooled slightly, then drain. Drizzle shells very lightly with oil and toss to coat. Set aside.

In the same pot of water, cook the greens until fully wilted, about 30 seconds. Drain greens into the bowl of a salad spinner set in the sink. Run under cold water until thoroughly chilled, then spin in salad spinner to dry.

Spread greens over a clean kitchen towel or a double layer of paper towels and roll into a tight tube, pressing to remove excess moisture. Transfer to a cutting board and roughly chop.

Line a large plate or a rimmed baking sheet with a triple layer of paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Spread ricotta on top and cover with more paper towels or another clean kitchen towel. Let drain for 5 minutes, then remove towels and transfer ricotta to a large bowl. (You may need to use a spatula to scrape all of the ricotta off the towels.)

Add spinach, 8 ounces shredded mozzarella, 1 1/2 ounces grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, garlic, and nutmeg to ricotta. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.

Lightly grease a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with oil. Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce in an even layer on bottom of baking dish. Using a spoon, fill each shell with a large scoop of ricotta filling and place opening side up in baking dish. Repeat until baking dish is full (you should be able to fit about 18 stuffed shells in the dish, and may have a few pasta shells leftover).

Spoon the remaining 1 cup tomato sauce on top of shells. Top with remaining 4 ounces shredded mozzarella and 1/2 ounce grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Bake until shells are heated through and cheese is bubbling and lightly browned on top, about 40 minutes. Let cool slightly, then serve.


Preparation

    1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Add both cans of tomatoes, breaking up with a wooden spoon, then increase heat to medium-high. Add 1/2 cup basil, bring to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced, 15󈞀 minutes.
    2. Cook noodles in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain and transfer to a lightly oiled rimmed baking sheet.
    3. Meanwhile, melt remaining 4 Tbsp. butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, until foamy and nutty smelling, 1𔃀 minutes. Whisking constantly, gradually add milk and bring to a simmer. Cook, whisking often, until mixture coats the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1/3 cup Parmesan and 1/3 cup Pecorino season with 1/2 tsp. salt and remaining 1/4 tsp. pepper.
    4. Mix ricotta, mozzarella, shallot, egg, 1/3 cup Parmesan, 1/2 cup basil, and remaining 1/3 cup Pecorino and 1/2 tsp. salt in a medium bowl.
    5. Spoon ricotta mixture into manicotti noodles at both ends. Spread half of tomato sauce then half of cheese sauce (keep them separate but they'll meld together) on bottom of a 13x9" or other 3-qt. baking dish. Arrange manicotti over, then top with remaining tomato sauce, cheese sauce, and 1/3 cup Parmesan. Bake manicotti until bubbling and lightly browned on top, 30󈞏 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes. Top with remaining 1/4 cup basil and serve.

    Crepes-Style Manicotti

    For many Italian-American families, in New Jersey and elsewhere, the Thanksgiving smorgasbord doesn’t feel quite right without a little touch of red sauce. So you say: “Manicotti? That doesn’t really go with turkey and stuffing and cranberries.” What, you want to argue about it? Besides, Thanksgiving also represents an American expression of abbondanza, the Italian concept of too-muchness that makes a meal feel epic.

    Here, courtesy of Reservoir Tavern, which has been serving customers in the Boonton area since 1936, comes a recipe for baked manicotti that uses crepes in place of pasta. Nicola Bevacqua, a member of the family that owns the place, said that his own family digs into this melted-cheese masterwork each holiday, as do the New Jersey locals who drop by to pick it up. The crepes, he assured us, “are light and airy and will leave you plenty of room for the turkey.” &mdashJeff Gordinier


    One of our family’s tried and true recipes is this delicious Manicotti recipe. It is such a simple dinner to make and can be on your table in less than an hour. We don’t make it a ton because it is full of cheese, but when we the kids see it on the Chalkboard Menu or see me making it, they always get excited!

    HOW TO MAKE MANICOTTI

    To make filling the noodles an easy process, simply place your cheese mixture in a Ziploc or frosting baggie (cut the tip off if needed) and then squeeze the filling into the noodles one at a time. As you can see, I don’t fill the noodles all the way full. This way I can get twice as many noodles in the pan. My husband also doesn’t like the noodles totally stuffed. He likes more noodle to cheese ratio.

    Sometimes, if I have a little time I will make my own Red Sauce…but most of the times I will use a bottle of our favorite prepared Spaghetti Sauce. This makes it super easy!

    This time I didn’t end up using fresh spinach because I didn’t have any…but it is always delicious to throw some spinach in your cheese mixture (chopped) or on top of the noodles and then cover with sauce!

    MANICOTTI RECIPE

    Serve with a fresh green salad and some veggies and some Garlic Bread and you have a pretty tasty and easy dinner idea!



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