When you need to stuff your face, this baked manicotti oozing with creamy ricotta, parmesan, and garlic will soothe your hunger pains.
- 1 8-ounce box manicotti shells
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced
- Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 cups whole milk ricotta
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups store-bought or homemade marinara
- 2 ounces fresh mozzarella, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9-by-13-inch baking or casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large pot over high heat, bring about 6 quarts of water to a boil, and then season with a generous handful of salt. Add the manicotti and cook for 4 minutes. You want the noodles to be soft enough that you can gently squeeze them open, but still firm enough to stuff and hold their shape.
- Once cooked, drain the pasta and set aside on a lightly oiled large plate in a single layer.
- In a small skillet over medium-low heat, add the butter and swirl to coat the pan. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute, stirring often, until the garlic has softened, about 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the garlic-butter mixture, ricotta, 1/2 cup of the parmesan, eggs, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, 2 tablespoons of the basil, salt, and pepper. Stir until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
- Spread 1/2 cup of the marinara in the bottom of the greased baking dish.
- Spoon the ricotta into a resealable gallon-size plastic bag. Seal the bag, and snip off one of the bottom corners with scissors to make a 1/2-inch opening.
- Gently squeeze one of the manicotti tubes so that it opens. Starting on one end, pipe in the cheese filling until the tube is about half full. Turn the tube around and pipe the mixture into the other end until fully stuffed. Place the stuffed manicotti in the baking dish.
- Continue stuffing the remaining manicotti tubes, and arrange them in a single layer in the baking dish. Pour the remaining marinara over the top, covering everything with sauce.
- Dot the dish with the fresh mozzarella, sprinkle with 1/4 cup parmesan, season with a pinch each of salt and pepper, and drizzle with the olive oil.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and continue to bake until the mozzarella is bubbly, about 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven.
- Let the baked manicotti stand for several minutes before serving, and then garnish with the remaining parmesan, parsley, and basil. Serve hot with crusty bread and a simple mixed greens salad.
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Category: Manicotti
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Pasta
Keywords: manicotti, pasta, casserole, comfort food, marinara, mozzarella, ricotta