First, the pasta should not be cooked more than an hour before baking and serving, or it will lose its toothsome bite.
This dish can be made just as easily with any shape of pasta. I start with a simple filling of veal, lamb and prosciutto cotto, egg and herbs. Fill (or coat, depending on the pasta shape) the partially cooked pasta with the filling, cover with tomato-based sauce, top with cheese, then bake.
After 25 minutes in the oven, if it's not quite crispy golden brown on top, throw it under the broiler for some color.
This is the kind of dish that can live in your fridge for a few days. Carve off a little bit every night then throw it back. It works just as well on day three.
Manicotti Baresi al Forno
Recipe reprinted from "Molto Batali" (ecco, 2011)
Serves 8 to 10 as a first course, 6 as a main.
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 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 1/4 cup plus 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 cups fresh ricotta, drained