Sunday, May 2, 2010

Homemade Manicotti

There is nothing better than homemade manicotti. Tons of cheese and loads of marinara sauce-the thought of it makes me hungry. Whenever I make these, people are so amazed that the noodles are homemade. I prefer the taste of the homemade noodles and they are also a lot easier to stuff than the store-bought variety. It's actually not too hard once you get the hang of it.

This recipe is from the Taste of Home Classic Cookbook. It is just cheese stuffed but I like to add beef or chicken occasionally.
Crepe Noodles
1.5 cups of flour
1 cup of milk
3 eggs
dash of salt
1.5 pounds ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
1 egg
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
Shredded Romano cheese, optional

Whisk flour, milk, eggs, and salt in a bowl until smooth. Pour about 2 tablespoon onto a
hot greased skillet and spread to a 5 inch circle or smaller. Cook over medium heat until set; do not brown or turn. The top
will still be a little doughy. Repeat with the remaining batter, making around 18 crepes. Stack crepes between waxed paper and set aside.

Pour half of the spaghetti sauce into an ungreased baking dish.

For the filling, combine the cheeses, egg, and the parsley. Spoon about 3-4 tablespoons into each creep. Roll or fold up and place the crepes over the sauce. Pour remaining sauce over the top. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. uncover and bake 20 minutes longer. Sprinkle with Romano cheese.

The first time I made these I didn't have anything to stack the crepes on so I decided to do it all at once. I made the batter and the filling and then began making the crepes. As one crepe was finished I would put it on plate, add more batter to the skillet, and then stuff the finished crepe and then put it the baking dish. It requires all your attention but I prefer to do it this way. Once you start making a few, you will get the hang of how much batter to use.

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