Almost Chef John’s Three-Cheese Broccoli Manicotti


Hello, this is Stacey of Butternutplace and welcome to the post. Today we are going to make Chef John’s Three-Cheese Broccoli Manicotti.

That’s right, I’m sure you are wondering why I am blogging about something that is readily available on Chef John’s YouTube and All Recipes.  This is more of a celebration/homage to the great Chef John, whose epic puns and practical advice remind us that cooking is fun and satisfying.  

I watched with mouth-watering attention Chef John’s masterful Three-Cheese Broccoli Manicotti YouTube video.  I almost NEVER eat pasta, but this was so good, I could not resist. For my next grocery trip, I gathered all the ingredients (broccoli, cheeses, etc.), then took a fly down the pasta aisle for the manicotti.  I was very disappointed to find nothing resembling manicotti. 

Fast forward several days later—a different grocery store in a galaxy far, far away (well, just a block away from the other one).    There I was, eye-to-box with some manicotti pasta.  I examined the ingredients and was crestfallen to learn it was made of enriched flour (with a bunch of additives and likely made from glyphosate treated wheat).  Oh my, eating should not be so fraught with dilemmas.  However, just next to this popular brand was a bag of imported Italian Paccheri (made with semolina, eggs and water only).  Paccheri is shorter than manicotti (maybe 2 inches long), about garden hose diameter, and somewhat sturdy.  Needless to say, I happily bought it for my project. 

I am not going to re-post Chef John’s recipe because it is linked above.  However, I will tell you the changes I made.  First, for the tomato sauce, I did homemade and thinned it with beef broth. (Chef John’s video shows broth, but recipe says water.)  The second change I made was to do 4 oz of mozzarella instead of provolone (mozzarella needed a job), and 2 C of mixed asiago and parmesan (instead of all parm. That was what I could muster out of my cheese drawer).  I also used 4 C of chopped broccoli instead of 3.  Don’t worry about adjustments. That’s just you cooking. Everything else was as close as I could make it.

You are, after all, the Scarlatti of your Chef John manicotti!

Result?  Amazing. 

There was enough leftover broccoli/ricotta filling to make pucks for freeze drying (no sausage bits for the freeze dryer).  Not to mention that I have leftovers of the main dish in the fridge for later. And I totally expect the leftovers to be even more wonderful than the original dish.

So, thank you, Chef John!

I really hope you give this a try soon. 

And as always, enjoy!

Stay briny,

–Stacey

P.S. If you do not understand the bolded/underlined sections, watch a Chef John video.

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