So here are the steps in stages. Try not to get intimated. The first one or two shells, might need to be tossed until you get the hang of it. The thinner you can get the crepe, the better. Just swirl it around the pan until it forms a nice, round circle. Depending on how high you have your burner, they can take anywhere from 30-60 seconds per crepe so you have to stand there and watch them carefully.
Step 1: Make the shells
1 c. All Purpose Flour
1 c. Water
Pinch of Salt
Mix all ingredients together until well blended. Spray a small saute pan (about 8") with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. One at a time, pour just enough batter to coat the bottom of the pan (less than a ladle full) and swirl it around to coat the bottom of the pan in a thin layer. When the edges start to "dry" and pull away from the pan, gently flip it over to cook the other side for another 15-30 seconds. Remove from pan and set aside. Makes 14-16 shells
Step 2: Make the Filling
2-15oz. Containers Part Skim Ricotta Cheese
1 1/2 c. + 1/2 c. Part Skim Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 c. Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated
2 tbsp. Fresh Basil, chopped
2 tbsp. Parsley (dried or fresh)
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
1/4 tsp. Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Mix all ingredients together using 1 1/2 c. of the mozzarella cheese, leaving the remaining 1/2 c. to top the manicotti before baking. Makes enough to fill 18 shells(you will probably have some left over).
Step 3: Heat the sauce
2 c. Marinara Sauce: You can use your favorite, homemade or jar. I prefer the homemade version and you can click on the name for the recipe.
Step 4: Assemble
|This is how it should look prior to topping|
with sauce and cheese.
Place 1-2 ladle fulls of sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish in order to coat the bottom of the pan. Lay out one shell then take 2 tbsp. of the cheese mixture and place it in the center of the shell in a 'line'. Fold over one half of the shell, then continue rolling to form a log looking shell. Place the manicotti in the baking dish. Repeat for all shells. Next, top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Makes 14 Manicotti Shells.
Approx. Points+=5pts per Completed Manicotti Shell