Sunday, June 13, 2021

Manicotti vs. Cannelloni, a family divided

Manicotti vs Cannelloni

My family (please note we are not at all Italian!!) have been making Manicotti for decades.  As long as I can remember this dish has been HIGHLY requested.  Several years ago, my cousin gathered all of our family recipes, and there was some heated debate of who actually “owned” our family favorite dish.  Turns out we all decided my Aunt Jean was the true originator (adapter).  

No please don’t get me wrong, while our “manicotti” is a family favorite version, I learned years later that the actual dish we made was cannelloni, or a version there of.  We used 4 cheeses, cottage, cheddar, mozzarella and that green can of “sawdust”, err I mean parm….. at some point and time someone added little smokes into the tubes.  Don’t ask, I don’t know.

Fast forward quite a few years, and a friend invited us over for dinner.  She was making tons of manicotti.  We discussed the above mentioned family version.  In the end I learned our version was completely backwards.  But we still call it manicotti. 

Here is our favorite Manicotti to make. In the pictures I has making it to give away (I don’t normally don’t bake in tin foil!) but I do make extra filling and stuff all the tubes.  Then tuck a tray or two into a freezer bag and freeze them for a later dinner.  We always have left of spaghetti sauce (Goon’s Spaghetti), so this is a quick and VERY easy dish to pop together when your feeling time poor.


  • 1 package of Manicotti tube pasta
  • 16 oz ricotta
  • 8 oz grated parm
  • 1/4 Parsley, chopped loosely packed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 egg, beaten 
  • 3- 4 cups Left over spaghetti sauce, or your favorite jar
  • 12-16oz Shredded Mozzarella
  • 1 Pastry bag


  1. Par cook the pasta.  You want to not fully cook, as they will fall apart.
  2. Set of parchment to cool
  3. Mix together the ricotta, parm parsley and egg.  Lightly salt (the cheese may have enough salt).  Add pepper to your liking.
  4. Put the filling mixture into the pastry bag, cut off a small/medium hole in the tip.  you can also use a ziplock bag, and cut off one corner.
  5. Take the bag and pipe the filling into the tube.
    1. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can use a spoon to stuff the tube
  6. (At this point you can place the back into the plastic contained the uncooked past came in, and slide into a large ziplock, to freeze)
  7. Layer about 1/2 cup in the bottom of a prepared baking dish.
  8. Place the stuffed tubes in a baking pan.
  9. Continue until the pan is full.
  10. Place the remainder of your pasta sauce on top of the pasta.
  11. Top with shredded mozzarella
  12. Bake at 350°, for 20-35 minutes, or until golden and bubble.




Here are the family versions…..


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