I think of manicotti as spaghetti’s pretty cousin.
From the same family of Italian fare, but somehow manicotti has a fancier feel to it. (Yeah, I know horrible…but true.)
I love making this simple, yet sophisticated dish. My husband loves it! Which is enough to keep it in the rotation now and then. I am surprised by many friends who have never tried it, or when people tell me they have such difficulty making it.
Well, here it is. Delicious three cheese manicotti that will melt in your mouth and the simple tips to make it hassle free.
Three Cheese Manicotti
Boil your noodles per package directions. *I usually add a dash of olive oil to my noodles boiling, extra measure to keep them from sticking to one another.* Drain.
- Tip #1: After draining, lay the noodles out on a piece of aluminum foil. This will keep them from sticking and tearing apart.
Prepare in a bowl the ricotta, Parmesan and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Mix. Add the egg, seasonings, and garlic. Mix again.
- Tip #2: Don’t try to stuff the shells with the cheese filling by spoon. That will tear the shells and make a frustrating mess. Grab your plastic baggie and fold down the top. Begin filling the bag with cheese filling. Once full, use scissors and cut the tip of one bottom corner and use it like a baker’s piping bag.
- Tip #3: Don’t worry about filling the shells to maximum capacity. That will just lead to them bursting at the seams in the oven and having a goopy mess in your dish. Just make sure each shell gets a good thick line of filling throughout.
- Tip #4: I typically hold the shell in the middle. Stick the corner of the bag in the shell and pipe from the middle out one side. Then flip the shell around and do the same, pipe cheese into the middle and out the other end.
Pour a small layer of spaghetti sauce into the bottom of your dish. Add your cheese filled shells. Pour remaining sauce over the top of shells. Try not to smother them in sauce. You want that cheesy goodness taste to come through. Add remaining mozzarella on top.
Bake for 20-25 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Enjoy!