This recipe is very much like my recipe for lasagna rolls but with that America's Test Kitchen flair. It was broadcast as part of their "Italian-American Classics" episode and I tried it as soon as I saw it. The results are excellent.

2 28-ounce cans of diced tomatoes in juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
16 no-boil lasagna noodles


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

For the Sauce: One can at a time, pulse 1the tomatoes with their juice in food processor until coarsely chopped. Transfer to bowl.

Heat oil, garlic, and pepper flakes in large saucepan over medium heat until fragrant but not brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes. Stir in basil; adjust seasoning with salt.

For the filling: Combine ricotta, 1 cup Parmesan, mozzarella, eggs, salt, pepper, and herbs in medium bowl; set aside.

For the pasta: Pour 1 inch boiling water into 13 by 9-inch broilersafe baking dish, then add noodles one at a time. Let noodles soak until pliable, about 5 minutes, separating noodles with tip of sharp knife to prevent sticking. Remove noodles from water and place in single layer on clean kitchen towels; discard water in baking dish and dry baking dish.

Spread bottom of baking dish evenly with 1 1/2 cups sauce. Spread 1/4 cup cheese mixture evenly up three-quarters the length of each noodle. Beginning at filled end, roll each noodle up jellyroll-style and arrange in baking dish seam side down. Top evenly with remaining sauce to completely cover pasta.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake covered for 40 minutes, then remove foil. Remove baking dish from the oven and adjust oven rack to the position closest to the broiler. Sprinkle manicotti evenly with remaining 1 cup Parmesan. Broil until cheese is spotty brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Cool 15 minutes, then serve.

Serves 6 to 8

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