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  • 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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The recipe was originally published as Cheese and Zucchini Stuffed Manicotti on

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