Manicotti Primavera

Ricotta is mixed with a combination of primavera style vegetables, parmesan, and fresh herbs to create a tasty primavera stuffing to fill manicotti pasta. The manicotti primavera is then baked smothered in homemade marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese for a comforting meal.

I came across this lovely looking vegetarian lasagna recipe recently. I had it on our menu that week, but ended up making something a little different in terms of the presentation. Instead of the Lasagna Primavera, we ended up with Manicotti Primavera.

Vegetable Manicotti

You might think that I’m a glutton for punishment for making Manicotti, but I have a little trick that I use to make stuffing Manicotti a lot easier, faster, and less messy – check out my post on How to Fill Pasta for Stuffed Shells. I show how easy it is to fill jumbo sized pasta shells with this method, but you can use the same technique for manicotti or cannelloni.

If you’re used to attempting to spoon filling into pasta shapes like these, all the while making a big mess and the whole process taking far longer than you’d like it to, I promise that you’ll be amazed at home much easier it is. You’ll never look at Manicotti or Stuffed Shells the same.

Vegetarian Manicotti

I served the Manicotti Primavera for our Sunday dinner a few weeks ago. I like to prepare a bigger dinner on Sundays because I have a lot more time. It’s usually a pretty relaxing day in the afternoon and evening here. I served a green salad and Rustic Rosemary Garlic Bread along side. MMmmmm Mmmmmm GOOD!

You might like to try the Olive Garden Salad with Olive Garden Salad Dressing as an accompaniment to this Manicotti Primavera. The dressing is creamy and tangy just like the original. When poured over a big bowl of salad greens, topped with red onion, black olives, Roma tomato, pepperoncini, and your favorite croutons – try this recipe for buttery sourdough garlic croutons – it is just like the one served in restaurants, and it pairs deliciously with this recipe!

Manicotti Primavera

Manicotti Primavera is a great way to use up any remaining summer squash and zucchini from your garden, CSA, or the farmer’s market. You can use the filling to stuff shells as well if you prefer that over manicotti pasta.

Manicotti Primavera

Yield: serves 6 - 8

Ricotta is mixed with a combination of primavera style vegetables, parmesan, and fresh herbs to create a tasty primavera stuffing to fill manicotti pasta. The manicotti primavera is then baked smothered in homemade marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese for a comforting meal.

Ingredients:

  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup carrot, grated
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, grated
  • 1/2 cup patty pan squash, grated
  • 1/3 cup broccoli, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup fresh herbs, chopped (parsley, basil, or a combination)
  • 3 cups sauce, such as Homemade Marinara Sauce
  • 12 ounces Manicotti (about 1 1/2 standard sized boxes)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cook the pasta (I usually cook it 1-2 minutes less than the package instructions so it will hold it's shape.). Drain, cool, and set aside till you're ready to stuff the tubes.

In a medium sized bowl, Combine the ricotta cheese, egg, salt, pepper, 1 cup of the mozzarella (reserving the other 1 cup), and parmesan. Mix well. Grate the carrot, zucchini, squash, and broccoli. Add the vegetables to the cheese mixture and stir to combine.

Stuff the cooled pasta with the cheese and vegetable mixture. Coat the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan with 1 cup of sauce, such as Homemade Marinara Sauce. Line the manicotti up in the baking dish and top with the remaining 2 cups of sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese.

Bake, covered with foil, for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a green salad and garlic bread.

 

Notes:

Note: If you don't have patty pan squash, just substitute another yellow summer squash.

Adapted from Lasagna Primavera