- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 package (8 ounces) manicotti, cooked, drained, and cooled
- 2 containers (15 ounces each) part-skim ricotta cheese
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 ounce dried mushrooms such as shiitake (optional), soaked and drained (see cooks' note), and finely chopped (optional)
- 4 cups Basic Tomato Sauce
1.Cook pasta, drain, and cool. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together ricotta, eggs, thyme, oregano, and 1 cup Parmesan. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir in mushrooms, if desired.
2.Using a plastic bag for filling, stuff cooled pasta shells (about 3 tablespoons ricotta mixture in each).
3.Coat bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with 2 cups tomato sauce. Line up manicotti in baking dish, and cover with 2 cups sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan. Bake until bubbly, about 30 minutes.