Published January 1, 2007.
Manicotti may look homey, but blanching and stuffing pasta tubes is a tedious chore, and the ricotta filling can be uninspired and watery. We wanted a simpler, better recipe.
Despite being composed of a straightforward collection of ingredients (pasta, cheese, and tomato sauce), manicotti is surprisingly fussy to prepare. Blanching, shocking, draining, and stuffing slippery pasta requires a lot of patience and time.
We wanted an easy-to-prepare recipe that still produced great-tasting manicotti.
Our biggest challenge was filling the slippery manicotti tubes. We solved the problem by discarding the tubes completely and spreading the filling onto a flat wrapper, which we then rolled up. For the wrappers, we found that no-boil lasagna noodles were ideal. After a quick soak in boiling water, these noodles could be spread with filling and rolled up in a few easy minutes. For an appropriate filling, we needed only to taste-test several ricottas (part-skim proved to have an ideal level of richness) and determine the proper doses of eggs, mozzarella, and Parmesan.list of recipes