Recipe courtesy of Vita Greco


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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 30 min
  • Prep: 1 hr 50 min
  • Cook: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Crepes for Manicotti:

1 cup flour

1 cup milk

1 egg, beaten

1/2 teaspoon salt

Ricotta Filling:

8 ounces fat-free cream cheese

2 eggs

2 pounds ricotta

Handful chopped fresh parsley

Black pepper

1/4 cup grated mozzarella

2 cups Vita Greco's Gravy, recipe follows

For the meat:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound mixed chopped meat (veal, pork and beef)

1 small package (about 4) pork neck bones

1 pound sweet Italian sausage

1 small lamb shank

For the meatballs:

1 pound mixed chopped meat (veal, pork, beef)

2 large eggs

1 handful chopped fresh Italian parsley

Black pepper

1/4 cup grated Locatelli Romano

1/2 cup bread crumbs

4 garlic cloves, sliced

Olive oil, for browning

For the gravy:

3 to 4 garlic cloves, sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 (4-ounce) can tomato paste

2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes

Black pepper


A few pinches sugar

1 handful chopped fresh Italian parsley

6 basil leaves

A few pinches grated Locatelli Romano

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (8-ounce) can water


  1. To make crepes: Mix ingredients together and stir until smooth. Drop by spoonfuls or 1/4 cup of mixture onto a hot, lightly greased nonstick 6-inch pan. Crepes should form and become dry almost instantly as you swirl the pan and its contents. Turn crepe over to cook other side quickly. Remove cooked crepe to waxed paper to cool. They can be stacked with waxed paper between each and then placed in the freezer until you're ready to fill them. This makes about 9 crepes that can be filled with more than just ricotta. Use for cannelloni, blintzes, etc.
  2. To make ricotta filling: Whip all of the ricotta filling ingredients together. Place a spoonful of filling in the center of each crepe, then roll up, and tuck in the ends. Spread a little sauce on the bottom of a baking pan to evenly coat the pan. Then, arrange manicotti in pan loosely and cover with sauce. Bake at 425 degrees F, when the sauce bubbles, serve.

For the gravy:

  1. Prepare the meats: In a large skillet, brown all the meats in the olive oil. There is no need to cook the meats all the way through. Remember to pierce the sausage before cooking to allow fats and water to be released. Set meats aside.
  2. Prepare meatballs: Combine all ingredients except the olive oil in a large bowl. Form the meatballs with your hands (there should be about 12). Fry in the olive oil over medium heat until browned, but not cooked all the way through. Set aside.
  3. For the gravy: Saute garlic in the olive oil in the same skillet used to saute the meats. Add tomato paste and cook for a few minutes. In a large saucepot, combine the remaining ingredients except the meats and the tomato paste-garlic mixture and simmer. When the mixture begins to bubble, add all the meats and the meatballs. Stir about every 15 minutes, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to prevent burning and sticking. If the gravy seems too thick, add a little water at a time. Simmer for about 3 hours, keeping the lid of the pot slightly askew to prevent condensation of the gravy.