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Melissa Jo’s Manicotti

Manicotti is the type of dish that is worth the effort especially for a holiday! Like ..say…EASTER! My family always starts with an Italian dish before the first course. And, it’s always a special Easter when Manicotti is on the first course menu! It’s not difficult to make it just takes a little maneuvering when filling the manicotti! I like to say it’s a family affair! But, you can definitely do it on your own too! Here is my recipe just in time for Easter! Let’s make it!

Melissa Jo's Manicotti

Melissa Jo’s Baked Manicotti

Melissa Jo

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. of manicotti
  • 1.5 qts homemade sauce
  • 32 oz. of Ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 12 oz. of Polly-O mozzarella about 1/2 of the block cut into little 1/2 inch cubes, and the rest freshly grated
  • cracked black pepper and salt
  • 3/4 cup of Locatelli Pecorino Romano grated
  • fresh chopped Italian flat leaf parsley about 1/2 cup total
  • fresh chopped basil about 1-2 handful chopped

Instructions
 

  • heavily salt a large pot of boiling water and add 1 lb. of manicotti; cook until aldente (My box said 9 minutes)
  • In a mixing bowl add Ricotta, 1/2 cup of grated Pecorino Romano cheese, handful of fresh chopped parsley, 1 handful of fresh chopped basil, 1 egg, about 6 oz. of cubed mozzarella chopped into tiny 1/2 inch cubes, 2 ladle fulls of homemade sauce (about 1 cup), plenty of cracked black pepper , and about 1 tsp. of kosher salt.
  • Mix the ingredients in the bowl. The result should be a pink color after mixing. If it’s too white…add a little more sauce.
  • Then, add the ricotta mixture into a ziplock or piping bag.
  • Drain the pasta and once it’s cool to touch, fill the manicotti with the ricotta mixture.
  • In a baking dish (this will likely make 2-3 trays): layer in this order:
  • enough sauce to cover the bottom of the dish with a thin layer
  • the filled manicotti
  • layer of sauce just to cover manicotti not smother
  • fresh shredded Locatelli Pecorino Romano
  • Freshly shredded mozzarella
  • fresh parsley
  • fresh chopped basil
  • cracked black pepper
  • Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees F.; then uncover and bake another 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees F. or until piping hot!
  • Cool the manicotti a 1/2 hour before serving! It will set up and become firmer!

Notes

  • The trick to the best manicotti is layering! AND the right ingredients. For the mozzarella I use Polly-O and whole milk (not skim). Similarly, I use Polly-O Ricotta. I use Locatelli Pecorino Romano in this dish! If you buy those ingredients you will get the same result.

  • Serve with: Serve with crusty Italian bread &  a simple garden salad with Italian dressing

  • Cool the manicotti a 1/2  hour before serving!It will set up and become firmer!

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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