Known as cannelloni in Italy, manicotti are very large ridged pasta tubes that are stuffed and baked. The filling is a tasty combination of cheeses, often with the addition of ground meat or vegetables. In this simple weeknight version, the pasta is stuffed with a three-cheese filling flavored with garlic and nutmeg. Ricotta adds creaminess, mozzarella melts and binds, and Parmigiano-Reggiano adds nutty flavor and salinity. For ease and speed, this recipe suggests the use of store-bought marinara sauce. If you’d like to add some greens to the dish, thaw a 10-ounce package of frozen spinach, squeeze out all the water, then finely chop the spinach and add it to the filling before stuffing the manicotti.
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  2. Step 2

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, cook the manicotti shells according to package directions until al dente. Rinse them under cold water until cool enough to handle; drain well.
  3. Step 3

    Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the ricotta, 1 cup of the mozzarella, the Parmigiano-Reggiano, parsley, garlic and nutmeg; mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then add egg and mix until smooth. Transfer to a large resealable plastic bag or a pastry bag fitted with a round piping tip.
  4. Step 4

    If using a resealable plastic bag, use scissors to snip off a corner tip of the bag. Pipe the cheese filling into the cooked and cooled manicotti.
  5. Step 5

    Spread 1 cup of the marinara sauce in the prepared baking dish. Arrange the manicotti in a single layer in the dish. Top evenly with the remaining 2 cups marinara sauce and sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup mozzarella. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until filling is heated through and cheese is melted and golden, about 15 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes.
  6. Step 6

    Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm.