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RECIPE: Manicotti with Proscuito and Fresh Basil

Our entry into the Food & Wine Affair event in 2020 was Jesse's famous Baked Manicotti with Prosciutto, which he made and presented via video during the virtual event. It’s filled with a myriad of local cheeses and laced with fresh herbs. We paired it with our 2017 Italiano -a blend of Sagrantino, Aglianico, Lagrein, Montepulciano, and Barbera - but it could just as easily pair with our 100% Lagrein or 100% old-vine Carignan.

2 - 28 oz cans San Marzano tomatoes
2 tbsp - Extra-virgin olive oil
3 - Garlic cloves minced
1/2 tsp - Crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbsp - Chopped fresh basil
3 cups - Ricotta cheese
2 cup - Grated parmesan cheese
1 large Shallot (minced)
Kosher Salt (to personal taste)
2 cups - shredded mozzarella cheese
2 large eggs - Slightly beaten
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves
16 no-boil lasagna noodles
40 - Fresh basil leaves
16 slices prosciutto paper-thin slices
10-12 slices - Fresh mozzarella
1 tbsp – Fresh oregano
Black Pepper (to personal taste)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Boil water for no-bake lasagna noodles

Grab a 9” x 13” glass baking dish

Tomato Sauce

Place tomatoes in a glass bowl and break up tomatoes evenly with your hands. Avoid large chunks.

In a large saucepan over a medium heat, heat olive oil. Add shallots, garlic, and pepper flakes. Sauté for 1 min. Add tomatoes and cook until sauce thickens slightly, 20-60 min. Add salt, pepper, and oregano to finish.

Manicotti Filling

Combine eggs, ricotta, 1 cup of parmesan, shredded mozzarella, ricotta, salt, pepper, and parsley.

To Assemble

Pour 1 – 2 in. boiling water in 9” x 13” broiler-safe baking dish. Place 1-3 noodles in dish and let soak until pliable enough to roll, only takes a couple of minutes. If noodles start to stick, separate with tip of sharp knife. Remove noodles from water and place in single layer on clean kitchen towels. Pour about 1 1/2 cups of sauce in the bottom of 9" x 13" baking dish; spread evenly. Place 1 slice of prosciutto on each noodle. Spread 1/4 cup of cheese mixture over 3/4 of each noodle on top of prosciutto, leaving 1/4 of noodle uncovered. Place 2 fresh basil leaves across the top of the cheese end. Starting from the end with cheese, roll the noodle into a tube shape and place in baking dish seam side down. When dish is full, top evenly with remaining sauce, covering each noodle completely.

Cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake on the middle rack until the sauce bubbles. About 35-45 min.

Remove manicotti from the oven and switch oven to broil. Remove foil. Evenly place fresh sliced mozzarella on top and then sprinkle with the remaining cup of parmesan cheese. Do not replace the foil. Place dish 6 inches from the heating element.  Broil until cheese starts to brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 20 min to allow the manicotti to set. Finish by sprinkling shreds of fresh basil over the top for flavor and garnish. Sautéed spinach can be used to replace prosciutto for vegetarian version.

Manicotti