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May 20, 2012 01:20 PM

how long do I cook fresh manicotti in oven?

My husband bought home some fresh homemade manicotti yesterday that we are having tonight. I am simmering a marinara sauce for it now.

So when we are ready to eat, do I heat the manicotti in a baking dish with a tiny bit of olive oil? Or do I cook it in the marinara? It's just cheese, so I only need to make sure the pasta is cooked, but fresh pasta cooks so quickly, I don't want to overcook, and adding the sauce may make it goopy? The manicotti are the basically the size of a long, flat cannoli.


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  1. I would assemble the ingredients and cook the Manicotti in the sauce.

    2 Replies
    1. re: todao

      for how long at what temperature? I'm thinking 15-20 minutes at 400 F?

      1. re: arugala

        I was thinking 30 - 35 minutes at 350* but I think your idea will work. It's difficult for me to suggest a cooking time because, as I see it, time/temperature are relative. I rarely use the clock when cooking, except to mark the time that I might want to take a look and see how things are going in the oven or on the stove top.
        The Manicotti needs to come up to temp. before it starts to cook properly so the temperature of the other ingredients, when added to the mix, will affect how long it takes to cook.
        When I'm working with a new recipe idea, I sometimes make one sample of the item and cook it in the same pan with the others so I can taste test it at various intervals to determine when I want to call it done.

    2. Hi, I know by now your manicotti is nothing but a distant memory (I hope it is a spectacular one)! I thought I would still reply in case someone else stumbles across this thread searching for an answer.

      The standard stuffing for manicotti has raw egg in it, so cooking time for manicotti should reflect the time it takes the stuffing to reach an internal temp of a safely cooked egg (160F with no rest time). This will also ensure the manicotti "sets up" correctly.

      Also, I understand that you don't want your pasta to be soggy, but with fresh pasta you're okay erring on the side of cooking too long. As you may know, fresh pasta cannot be cooked al dente, only dried pasta can be that firm "to the tooth," because reboiling previously dried pasta not quite to full hydration is what creates that texture. Pasta cooked al forno (in the oven, normally in sauce), even when dried pasta is used, is cooked soft instead of al dente due to this longer cooking time. I believe fresh pasta is more or less a non-issue when dealing with al forno pasta dishes.

      I have a few recipes which call for an hour cook time for previously cooked pasta, and one which uses crepes (unconventional, but it's really good that way) which calls for a 425F oven for 40 min. I just did a batch using conventional "dried" (and boiled) pasta, and I baked it for about 25 min from room temperature, topped it with cheese, then 25 min more. I would have gone longer, but it was up to temp and I was short on time.

      Another note on baking pasta in sauce: high temps or long cooking times cause sauces to reduce. There are vastly differing opinions on how to handle it. I say go with what you like. Foil it for the whole time, or take the foil off 15 minutes before it's done, or even longer if you enjoy a greatly reduced and jammy sauce with a bit of brown on top. Other than the odd bit of sticking-up pasta getting browned and chewy (which I enjoy), it really has no effect on the pasta part of the dish.

      Happy baking!