Manicotti is sometimes used interchangeably with cannelloni, but there is a difference (see my cannelloni recipe). The major difference is that cannelloni is made from pasta sheets that are rolled and manicotti is made from pre-shaped noodles that are stuffed. I also bake my manicotti which is not always done.
Ingredients (6 servings):
- 14 – manicotti pasta shells (about 8 ounces) – these can be purchased in the store (I typically use Ronzoni but there are other brands that are as good). You can use fresh pasta also.
- 2 cups – ricotta cheese
- 3 cups – mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1 cup – Parmesan cheese, grated
- 2 cups – cottage cheese
- 2 – eggs
- 1 tablespoon – fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon – salt
- ¼ teaspoon – pepper
- ¼ teaspoon – nutmeg
- Botticelli’s rich Italian tomato sauce (as much as desired)
Cook pasta in boiling salted water as prescribed in the directions on the box. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the ricotta, half of the mozzarella, ¼ cup Parmesan, and cottage cheeses together along with the eggs, parsley, salt and pepper, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
The ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, and cottage cheeses, eggs, parsley, salt and pepper, and nutmeg.
Once the pasta tubes are done cooking, pour into a colander and run cool water over them. Let them sit for a few minutes to allow the pasta to cool and the water to drain. Stuff the pasta tubes after they have cooled with the cheese mixture and place in a baking dish (I use a 10 x 14 x 3 inch dish) to form a single layer (see the photo).
Layer of stuffed noodles.
Top the pasta with Botticelli’s rich Italian tomato sauce. I like to make sure all the pasta is covered with sauce, but you can use as much or little of the sauce as desired. I then add the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese to the top and bake for 35 minutes (I like to see the cheese on the top start to brown. Enjoy!