Cheese and Zucchini Stuffed Manicotti

  • Yield 8 servings

This summer pasta dish stars an easy, homemade tomato sauce, fresh zucchini squash and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.



Tomato Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
12 to 16 cups crushed fresh tomatoes, unpeeled
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons sherry or balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1 (8-ounce) package manicotti shells (14 shells), cooked until al dente and drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups finely chopped zucchini squash
32 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Chopped fresh basil, mint and oregano


  1. To make sauce, heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; saute about 10 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, salt and sugar, and simmer over medium-low heat 1 to 2 hours, until a thickened and a lot of the liquid is evaporated. Add remaining 3 ingredients and cook 5 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 375F.
  3. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add zucchini and saute until browned and crisp-tender, about 7 minutes.
  4. Combine ricotta, egg, salt, cheese and fresh chopped herbs (to taste) in a large bowl. Gently stir in squash. Stuff manicotti with squash mixture (a long handled teaspoon works well). Place in baking pan and cover with 4 cups sauce. Bake 40 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.



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