Sunday, March 3, 2013
Baked Manicotti (from Scratch!)
Me and my husband were meant for each other for many reasons - our love of good food is one of those reasons - and it's a damn good one...because today when I had to go to a study group and would be unable to prepare dinner, he was the one driven to take me up on my suggestion that he make his Grammy's manicotti recipe. Nothing makes three hours of hardcore Number Theory go away faster than some made-from-scratch manicotti at the dinner table with my family.
I will say that I had absolutely no idea that manicotti were stuffed crepes! Did you??? My husband was wary about how it would end up tasting. For some inexplicable reason he is not in love with a crepe like I am. I told him to trust in his Grammy, and sure enough, they were amazing! I hope this becomes a staple of our house because they were so satisfyingly delicious and much easier to make than your average fresh pasta - no rolling out or cutting any dough. Once they're stuffed with cheese and covered in sauce - and of course more cheese - they taste like heaven.
made 10 manicotti
For the batter:
1-1/2 cups flour
1-1/2 cups water
For the filling:
16 oz part skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup romano cheese
For the topping:
2 cups marinara sauce (plus more for serving)
1 cup of part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a very small non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Spray with a little bit of oil. Ladle a little less than 1/2 cup of batter into the hot greased pan. Tilt the pan around so that the batter covers the bottom and flip when the top looks dry and cook on the other side until it is also dry. Check them as you cook. As the pan continues to heat up, it will take less and less time for each side to cook. By the end, Jim was churning them out in less than 30 seconds each. Stack them on a plate as you go - they won't stick to eachother. You can keep them in the fridge if using later or the next day and they also freeze well.
Combine all the ingredients for your filling in a large bowl. Place about 2 Tbsp of the ricotta filling in the center of each manicotti and fold like a letter (this is exactly what his Grammy's recipe book says.) Jim folded the sides in first because he didn't want the cheese oozing out (I don't know if this would have happened, but I wasn't going to take a chance of being wrong.) Place the manicotti in a greased baking pan. Top with marinara sauce and cheese. Cover the pan and bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Then uncover and bake for an additional ten minutes.
Serve with extra sauce and romano cheese and mangia!