Serves 8 to 10 people as a first course, 6 as a main
2 tablespoons plus ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds ground veal
2 pounds ground lamb
2 (16-ounce) packages manicotti pasta
1 pound prosciutto cotto, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 large eggs
1 cup plus ¼ cup plus ¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano
½ cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 cups fresh ricotta, drained
Freshly ground black pepper
3 cups tomato alla vodka sauce
Before you begin making your manicotti, make sure you know about these two important rules first!
Bring 8 quarts of water to a boil in a large pasta pot. Set up an ice bath nearby.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the sides and bottom of a 9- by 13-inch lasagne pan with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
In a 14-inch sauté pan, heat the remaining ¼ cup oil over medium heat. Add the veal and lamb, and cook until lightly browned, carefully separating the meat with a wood spoon so it crumbles evenly.
Remove the pan from the heat, drain off the fat, and allow the meat to cool.
Add 2 tablespoons salt to the boiling water. Carefully add the manicotti tubes to the water and cook for 2 minutes less than the package instructions indicate. Drain, and submerge the pasta in the ice bath. When it has cooled, drain again and set aside.
Place the cooled meat mixture in a large mixing bowl, and add the prosciutto cotto, eggs, 1 cup of grated cheese, the parsley, ricotta, and breadcrumbs.
Mix gently but thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Using a piping bag or a small spoon, carefully stuff the filling into the pasta tubes. Place half of the stuffed pasta tubes in the oiled lasagne pan, arranging them in an even layer across the bottom. Spread 1 ½ cups of the vodka sauce over the tubes, and sprinkle with ¼ cup of the remaining grated cheese.
Place the remaining stuffed pasta tubes over the first layer, like a pile of logs, and spread the remaining sauce over them. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup cheese.
Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown and crispy on top. Remove, and allow the manicotti to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe Courtesy of Molto Batali (ecco 2011)