Friday, May 13, 2005

Baked Manicotti with Prosciutto

Baked Manicotti with Prosciutto (Adapted from America's Test Kitchen)

For the sauce

28 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

For the filling and pasta

1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
3 ounces fresh grated Parmesan cheese
4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
8 no-boil lasagna noodles
8 pieces thinly sliced prosciutto

Preheat oven to 375

To prepare the sauce

Add tomatoes to a food processor and pulse 3 or 4 times until coarsely chopped.

In a medium saucepan, heat oil, garlic and crushed red pepper medium until fragrant but not brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and salt - simmer until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Stir in basil - taste sauce and additional salt if needed.

For the filling

In a medium bowl, whisk together ricotta, 1 1/2 ounces Parmesan, mozzarella, eggs, salt, pepper, parsley and basil until well combined.

In a large heat-safe dish, add 1" of boiling water - add noodles 1 at a time and let soak until pliable, about 5 minutes. Separate noodles after a minute or two to prevent any sticking. Remove noodles from water and place in single layer on clean towels to drain - cover to keep from drying out.

Place about 3/4 cup sauce into the bottom of a 9" baking dish coated with nonstick spray (if you use individual baking dishes as we did, just divide the sauce evenly between them).

Place 1 slice of prosciutto on top of each noodle. Spread 1/4 cup cheese mixture evenly onto bottom 3/4 of each noodle on top of prosciutto (with short side facing you), leaving the top 1/4 of the noodle uncovered. Roll the noodle up, starting with the short side, into tube and arrange in the baking dish seam side down. Top evenly with remaining sauce, making certain that pasta is completely covered. Cover baking dish with foil and bake until bubbling, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and take off foil.

Preheat broiler with rack to the highest position. Scatter manicotti evenly with remaining Parmesan. Broil until cheese is lightly brown, about 2 to 4 minutes. Remove and let cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

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