So it is a very well known fact that cheese is one of the most delicious substances known to mankind. Because of this, I try to find as many ways to consume it as possible. One of the most efficient ways to get cheese inside of your stomach as deliciously as possible is via manicotti.
The basic recipe is such:
-1 package of manicotti noodles
-1 large tub ricotta cheese
-1 lb shredded mozzarella cheese
-1 wedge romano cheese, grated
-1 jar spaghetti/marinara sauce
Boil manicotti noodles until soft and pliable. Mix together in a bowl all the cheeses except a little bit of mozzarella, then shove said mixture into noodles. Lay noodles into 9 x 13 dish, then dump sauce on top, then sprinkle remaining mozzarella on top. Cover with foil, bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the cheese is all melty and delicious. Gorge.
I almost never make it this way, incidentally. I’ll usually forget the romano. Sometimes on purpose, because I am terrified of cheese graters. One day I’ll be reckless and lose a chunk of hand, I just know it! The manicotti is not quite as flavorful without the romano, but still quite tasty.
Once, we were up in some piddly mountain town in western VA and decided to make manicotti, only to discover that the local grocery store didn’t carry manicotti noodles. So we used giant shells instead. Which begs the question, by using shells were we still making manicotti? Or were we making shells and cheese? Is a pasta dish defined by it’s noodle? These questions totally keep me up at night. Well, except not.
Oh yeah, I’ll also totally sprinkle on bonus flavorings, as the jarred sauces are never quite as flavorful as they could be. Ground pepper, oregano, basil, and garlic are all excellent additions. When I’m feeling cheesetastic (which, as was mentioned before, is pretty much all the time), provolone is excellent for sprinkling on top as well!
This also makes a decent amount, so unless you’re cooking for 8 people (fewer if they’re sumo wrestlers) you’ll have leftovers! Guaranteed to constipate you for a week, and completely worth it.