Recipe courtesy of Rosemarie Pisarra

Grandma Nancy's Manicotti

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 40 min
  • Prep: 40 min
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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3 1/2 cups ricotta

1 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano

2 eggs slightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

12 manicotti pasta crepes, homemade or store bought

1 cup shredded mozzarella

1 quart Grandma Nancy's Marinara Sauce or tomato meat sauce, recipe follows

Grandma Nancy's Marinara Sauce:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 medium cloves garlic, chopped

2 cans (1 crushed, 1 puree) tomatoes

4 medium fresh basil leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the ricotta, 1 cup of the grated cheese, eggs, and pepper.
  3. Fill each crepe with approximately 1/4 cup of the cheese mixture centering it in a straight line down the middle. Top with the shredded mozzarella. Take one end of the crepe and fold over the cheese filling. Then take the other end and pulling slightly, fold over in a wrapping motion overlapping the stuffed portion of the crepe. Repeat until all 12 crepes are filled.
  4. Spread one cup of the sauce in the bottom of a large baking pan that has been sprayed with a non-stick cooking spray. Place the filled manicotti in the pan, seam down, side-by-side. Do not overlap, and do not layer them. Spoon the remaining sauce over the manicotti. Be sure to cover all the pasta. Sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes or until the sauce is hot and bubbling.
  5. Remove from the oven and let stand for approximately 10 to 15 minutes before serving. This will give the manicotti time to settle which will make for easy serving. The manicotti will fall apart if served immediately.

Grandma Nancy's Marinara Sauce:

  1. In a pan heat the olive oil. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes on medium heat. Do not let garlic burn. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, and pepper. Let tomato mixture cook for approximately 30 minutes.

Cook’s Note

This is a basic marinara sauce full of flavor. It can be used in most recipes, which call for tomato sauce. To turn this basic marinara sauce into a bolognese, add 1 pound of ground sirloin to sauce. Make sure to brown the meat before the marinara sauce is added.

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