OK, the tomato sauce is made—now what to do with it?
On one of the first trips to my in-laws, before Lou and I were married, my mother-in-law-to-be Rita Cinquino served manicotti. I had never, ever tasted anything so good before. And as much as I loved my husband back then, I have to say the manicotti might have sealed the deal. It certainly was a major factor in my commitment to him. She served it with soft, squishy, white garlic bread, too.
It’s a bit of an effort to make, but so worth it. The secret is that the manicotti shell is made like a crepe. You’ll need about 4 cups of tomato sauce to go with this recipe.
The Manicotti Shell:
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup water
- 4 eggs
- Pinch of salt
Shell Directions: With a mixer or whisk, mix the eggs and water. Add the flour and stir with a whisk. With a ladle, pour into a small oiled skillet and make as many crepes as the batter allows (maybe about 10). Pile them on a plate; they won’t stick together.
The Manicotti Filling:
- 1 pound ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup grated Romano cheese
- 1 egg
- A few sprigs of chopped parsley
- Salt & pepper to taste
1. Mix ingredients together in a bowl. Fill each crepe with some filling and roll it up (like a cigar).
2. Add some tomato sauce to the bottom of a casserole dish. Layer the manicotti in the pan. Add the rest of the sauce on top. Bake for about 30 minutes in a 350-degree oven until it’s bubbly. YUMMIFUL!
3. You can also freeze the manicotti separately in plastic bags to cook later in the season. I’ve got 11 in the freezer right now!