Serves 8 to 10 as a first course, 6 as a main course.

Note: Prosciutto cotto is cooked when purchased. From "Molto Batali," by Mario Batali.

• 2 tbsp. plus 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil

• 2 lb. ground veal

• 2 lb. ground lamb

• Salt

• 2 (16-oz.) pkg. manicotti pasta (large tubes used for stuffing)

• 1 lb. prosciutto cotto, cut into 1/4 -in. dice (see Note)

• 2 eggs

• 11/2 c. grated Pecorino Romano cheese, divided

• 1/2 c. finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

• 2 c. fresh ricotta, drained

• 2 c. fresh breadcrumbs

• Freshly ground black pepper

• 3 c. tomato sauce (preferably tomato-vodka sauce)


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. Brush sides and bottom of a 9- by 13-inch lasagna pan with 2 tablespoons olive oil.

In a 14-inch sauté pan, heat remaining 1/4 cup oil over medium heat. Add veal and lamb, and cook until lightly browned, carefully separating the meat with a wooden spoon so it crumbles evenly. Remove pan from heat, drain off the fat and allow meat to cool.

Add 2 tablespoons salt to boiling water. Carefully add manicotti tubes to water and cook for 2 minutes less than package instructions indicate. Drain and submerge the pasta in ice bath to stop the cooking. When pasta has cooled, drain again and set aside.

Place cooled meat mixture in a large mixing bowl, and add prosciutto cotto, eggs, 1 cup of the grated Pecorino Romano cheese, parsley, ricotta and breadcrumbs. Mix gently but thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Using a piping bag or small spoon, carefully stuff filling into pasta tubes. Place half of stuffed pasta in oiled lasagna pan, arranging them in an even layer across the bottom. Spread 11/2 cups tomato sauce over pasta, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of grated cheese. Place remaining stuffed pasta over the first layer, like a pile of logs, and spread remaining sauce over them. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Bake in oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown and crispy on top. Remove, and allow manicotti to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition information per each of 10 servings:

Calories 1,067 Fat 44 g Sodium 1,540 mg

Carbohydrates 97 g Saturated fat 18 g Calcium 370 mg

Protein 67 g Cholesterol 230 mg Dietary fiber 6 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 6 bread/starch, 7 medium-fat meat, 2 fat.