I got this recipe off of a manicotti package years ago (before kids), I paired it with my own meatless version of my spaghetti sauce, and it became a standard to make when vegetarian friends came for dinner. My sister insisted I make it every time I visit. (Pic is a half batch)
1Prepare the marinara sauce 2-3 hours ahead of time. Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan, add onions and garlic; cook till onion is transparent. Add tomatoes, sauce, tomato paste, herbs, and wine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 2-3 hours uncovered until thick.
2Heat oven to 350. Bring 5 quarts of water to a rapid boil. For best results, add 1 tablespoons of salt. Add pasta and stir; return to rapid boil. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 6 minutes. Remove noodles from boiling water and place this in a bowl of cold water. Tubes will be firm; making them easy to fill but will finish cooking and become soft and tender while cooking in the oven.
3In a large bowl stir together ricotta cheese, 1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, eggs, parsley and seasonings. Pour enough sauce in the bottom of 13x9 inch pan to just cover the bottom of the pan. Spoon about 1/3 cup cheese mixture into each pasta tube; place in the pre-sauced pan. Pour the remainder of sauce over filled pasta; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Cover with foil; bake 35 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Remove from oven and serve.
4Okay, here's a secret only my kids know. Don't try and stuff those really small tubes. Slit those bad boys and fill to your hearts content, then close up and place split side down. No one knows the difference, or really cares because it's so yummy.