Three Cheese Manicotti

by Fat Daddy, Esq. on June 12, 2011

Do a quick search for manicotti on Google, go ahead, I will wait. Now, tell me (in the comments below) what is manicotti? I thought I knew the answer. You see boxes of manicotti pasta tubes on supermarket shelves and manicotti is listed on the menu at most Italian restaurants here in the United States. Easy right?

The first thing you likely saw after you hit enter on Google was an entry on Wikipedia for cannelloni with this info: “cannelloni is often erroneously referred to as manicotti, which is actually a filled Italian dinner crepe, as opposed to pre-rolled pasta.”

I am not Italian, so I don’t have an Italian grandmother to ask. I do know that I love their cuisine and/or their Americanized version thereof. So here is what I have been using as a somewhat authentic manicotti recipe (whatever that is). I find it is easier to make crespelle, Italian crepes, than pasta sheets anyway.

This recipe uses clean, whole food ingredients such as whole wheat flour and ricotta cheese without a lot of unnatural binders but it is obviously not something you want to eat too often if you are watching your figure.


  • 6 oz. Tomato Paste
  • 28 oz. Diced Tomato
  • 30 oz. Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
  • 3-4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs. Italian Seasoning


  • 3 Cups Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 Cups Mozzarella Cheese
  • 2 Cups Parmesan Cheese, divided
  • 2 Eggs
  • Basil 2 Tbs. fresh or 2 tsp. dried
  • Parsley 2 Tbs. fresh or 2 tsp. dried

This is enough for at least 12 tubes.


  • 1 1/2 Cups Flour (I use White Whole Wheat)
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 Cups Water and/or Milk
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt

This makes at least 12 crepes.

Combine crepe ingredients in a bowl or blender and mix to form a batter. Heat a 10″ pan over medium-high heat. Lightly oil the pan with the oil of your choice. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan and gently swirl the pan to create a thin layer.

Allow to cook until almost dry on top, about 1 minute.

Turn the crepe and cook on the other side for an additional 30 seconds.

Stack the crepes on a plate, using wax paper if necessary to prevent them from sticking together.

Sauté the onions, then add the garlic and allow to cook together for a few minutes. Combine the rest of the sauce ingredients and allow to simmer, for a few hours if possible.

Preheat your oven to 375°. Combine the filling ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Note you will only use 1 cup of Parmesan cheese at this stage.

Place approximately 2 tablespoons of filling in the middle of the crepe.

Fold the crepe.

Fold the crepe again to form a tube.

Lightly cover the bottom of a baking dish with tomato sauce and then place the filled crepes in the pan.

Completely cover the filled crepes with tomato sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes.

Remove dish from oven and remove aluminum foil. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and return to oven for an additional 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes.


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