Caf Review: Manicotti


Lauren Toneatto ’21 / The Dickinsonian

Lauren Toneatto ’21, Life & Style Columnist

Manicotti is not the prettiest looking pasta, but it is one of the most delicious. After a week of not-so-satisfying Caf meals, I could not contain my excitement when I saw this classic Italian dish on the menu for Saturday evening. 

Creamy ricotta cheese sits inside a tube-shaped pasta in a bath of red marinara sauce. The cheese is subtly garnished with herbs, adding some nice greenery to the otherwise white filling. The ricotta cheese gave the dish a fluffy, velvety texture due to its soft nature. There was a lot of cheese, but the airy quality made it the perfect portion. A minimal amount sauce came with this entrée. It was not overpowering and added a smooth and slightly chunky, though a little watery, texture to the dish. 

However, I would have liked a little more to offset the abundance of cheese which manicotti requires. While on the topic of cheese, my particular piece was missing the top layer of mozzarella. This was definitely a disappointment considering my food philosophy is the more the cheese the better, especially when it comes to mozzarella.  

Nevertheless, with equal amounts of filling and pasta on every forkful, I was still very pleased with this meal. 

My one large complaint would be the messy nature of this dish. 

Though the oozy nature of the cheese adds to dish’s overall appeal, the cheese often slipped out of the pasta completely, creating a pink color due to the combination of white cheese and red sauce mixing trying to get all the flavors back onto your fork. Also, I was only served one piece. Who is expected to be full on one noodle? I went back for seconds, both for nutritional necessity and because of how much I enjoyed my first helping of the dish.

Pasta dishes are by far my favorite Caf choice. Typically, pasta is a great vegetarian option and all-around fan-favorite, the pasta bar is a great addition, but these specialty pastas are truly what make a daily Caf menu complete.