This was such an awesome recipe. I have been putting it off because, well it looks and sounds difficult. This sauce is homemade, i am naturally an all ragu girl, but this sauce was easy and well worth it. I also was nervous about the no boil noodles, i have never used them but they were delicious. Honestly if you are craving a quick trip to Olive Garden, just make this dish, its delicious.
1 (28oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 Tbs olive oil
4 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp dried basil
Cheese Filling and Pasta
3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
2 cups Parmesan cheese (I used shredded because thats what i had but grated is great too)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 eggs , lightly beaten
1/2 tsp salt and pepper each
2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp dried basil
16 no-boil lasagna noodles (I had never heard of these, but my recipe suggested Barrilla Brand they were awesome and so easy. Find them with the rest of the noodles in the pasta aisle)
Heat oil, garlic, and pepper flakes in large saucepan over medium heat until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, basil and 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer, about 15 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, eggs, salt, pepper, and herbs; set aside.
While sauce is simmering pour 1 inch boiling water into 13 by 9-inch baking dish, then add noodles one at a time. Let noodles soak about 5 minutes, you want them to be soft, but not squishy. Remove noodles from water and place in single layer on kitchen towels or paper towels (they will stick like mad to your countertops) I didnt have any problems with mine sticking to each other, when they were a little stubborn i would slide a sharp knife between them and they would separate easily. Discard water in baking dish and dry baking dish.
Spread bottom of baking dish evenly with 1 1/2 cups sauce. Using a large spoon, spread about 1/3 cup cheese mixture evenly onto bottom three-quarters of each noodle. Roll into tube shape short end to short end, gently push the seam together and arrange in baking dish seam side down. (You should be able to fit 8 manicotti in each row, allowing all 16 to fit in the dish). Top evenly with remaining sauce, making certain that pasta is completely covered.
Cover manicotti with aluminum foil. Bake at 375, about 40 minutes, then remove foil. Sprinkle manicotti evenly with remaining 1 cup Parmesan. Bake and additional 6-7 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Like with a lot of my dishes this freezes like a dream. It also is good to sit in the fridge for a day or two before you bake it. I made this saturday night then popped it in the oven after church. Just follow the steps up to baking cover with foil, refridgerate, and leave baking for tomorrow.
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Original Recipe: My Kitchen Cafe