Saturday, January 28, 2012

Homemade Manicotti

Homemade Manicotti..I LOVE IT! By looking at these steps you're probably already thinking that it's too complicated and you're not even going to try it...big mistake! It REALLY is very easy to make and wouldn't your family love fresh, homemade pasta for dinner? I know mine did. These are so light and fluffy and by using the part skim cheeses, I certainly cut down on the caloric intake as well (though if you're not worried about that sort of thing, by all means use the whole milk products!). 

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
Manicotti Shells
1 c. All Purpose Flour
1 c. Water
4 Eggs
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
Manicotti Filling
2-15oz. Containers Part Skim Ricotta Cheese
2 Eggs
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. 
How to Assemble:
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

Enjoy!

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2 comments:

  1. Uh, did you say "try not to get intimidated" up there?

    Sister, a mixing bowl intimidates me!!

    And I love me some manicotti. Why can't you just be a neighbor?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Manicotti makes my heart go pitter patter! I love the stuff. I make it but with store bought shells. I've never seen an easy recipe for shells as yours. I think I may have to give is a whirl. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete

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