MANICOTTI-1 - An American version of stuffed shells

This is my recipe for stuffed manicotti shells. Perhaps
it's not authentic, but it's tasty.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4-6)
2 lb crushed tomatoes (1 large can)
2 lb whole tomatoes (1 large can)
4 Tbsp tomato paste

4-6 garlic cloves
2 cups chopped onions
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp basil
1 Tbsp oregano
1/2 tsp tarragon
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp rosemary
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
cayenne pepper, to taste
1 tsp parsley, preferably fresh, but dry will do
dash dry red wine
1/2 cup chopped parsley, fresh is much better
1 lb ricotta
2 eggs
1 cup shredded mozzarella

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 box manicotti (12 or so shells)

(1) Make sauce: Saute onions in large pot with olive
oil over medium heat. Add crushed garlic. Cook
until onions start to brown.

(2) Add cans of tomatoes along with paste, breaking
any large chunks.

(3) Add in seasonings and red wine. Simmer, stirring
occasionally, for 20-30 minutes.

(4) Make filling: mix filling ingredients in bowl,

reserving 1/2 cup of the shredded mozzarella to
sprinkle on top.

(5) Preheat oven to 350 deg. F.

(6) Cook manicotti until they are al dente (follow the

instructions on the box). Drain, and stuff each
with filling mixture.

(7) Cover baking pan with 1/2 inch of sauce, and
arrange stuffed shells on top. Cover with sauce
and reserved mozzarella.

(8) Bake at 350 deg. F for about 20 minutes, until
cheese is nicely browned and sauce is bubbling.

While I prefer to use true manicotti, regular pasta shells
are easier to stuff and it's okay to substitute. You can
also cut each manicotti down one side and rewrap it around
the stuffing. This freezes well uncooked; cover with plas-
tic wrap and foil. Let it defrost in a 200 deg. F oven for
an hour or overnight in the refrigerator. The cheese mix-
ture can be modified to suit your tastes. Cottage cheese
can be substituted for the ricotta.