Stuffed pasta is one of the glories of Italian cuisine, from bite-sized tortellini to imposingly large manicotti. While small shapes are often simply boiled and tossed with sauce, like ordinary pasta, manicotti is typically baked. The entree-sized portions can be made from sheets of fresh pasta, pre-formed cylinders of dried pasta or even light, delicate crepes; but the process of baking the dish remains much the same.
Prepare a baking dish by coating it with baking spray. Set the dish aside.
Follow the recipe directions for preparing each element of the manicotti, the stuffing, sauce and pasta. Fill the manicotti shells with the stuffing. Lay each stuffed piece of pasta in the pan.
Pour the sauce over the manicotti and sprinkle the top with cheese. Cover the pan with a sheet of aluminum foil.
Place the pan in an oven that has been preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or the temperature suggested by your specific recipe. Close the oven and set the timer for 20 minutes.
Open the oven and carefully remove the foil from the baking dish. Discard the foil. Close the oven and bake the manicotti for an additional 10 minutes or until the cheese on top is golden and bubbly.
Use pot holders to carefully remove the manicotti from the oven. Set the baking dish on a heat proof surface. Let the manicotti set for five to ten minutes before serving.
Serve baked manicotti with a tossed salad and buttered French bread.