Friday, 11 January 2013
A while back, I posted about Manicotti for the event Presto Pasta Nights. Every time we made manicotti using fresh pasta, the following comment would haunt us.
In southern Italy, where my family is from, [...] manicotti are rolled in a crepe rather than pasta and are generally served with a white sauce.
-Sweet Kitchen, comment on “stuffed manicotti from scratch (PPN)”
So. When we had chicken a la king after Christmas, T decided to make it like Southern Italian manicotti. It was pretty darn good.
But we thought it would be even better if we stuffed the crepes with ricotta/spinach mixture. And while we know that we’re supposed to use a white sauce, we bucked tradition (so what else is new?) and used tomato sauce.
And. It. Was. Fabulous.
Here’s what T did:
Crepes for Manicotti
based on our recipe for buckwheat crepes
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1.5 c milk (more or less)
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- 0.75 c unbleached all-purpose flour
- 4 Tbsp buckwheat flour
- 0.25 tsp salt
- salted butter for frying
- At least 3 hours before making the crepes, whisk egg, milk, oil and sugar together til frothy.
- Add flours and salt and whisk well until the batter is the consistancy of heavy cream. If it is too dry, add a bit more milk. If it seems too thin, add flour.
- Cover the bowl with a plate and let the batter rest in refrigerator for at least 3 hours (or overnight)
- Heat a cast-iron frying pan to medium high heat. Flick some water at the pan. If it evaporates immediately, the pan is too hot. If it beads and sits there, the pan is too cool. If it beads and bounces, the pan heat is j u s t right. (We set our burner at medium high to high – between 5 and 6; there are seven levels.)
- Melt a little bit of butter and tilt the pan to coat it with butter. Ladle some batter onto the frying pan. Tilt the pan back and forth to evenly distribute the batter in a thinnish coating over the bottom of the pan. Cook for about 3 or 4 minutes per side.
- Put the finished crêpe on a serviette covered warm plate. Cover with a lid (or not). Continue making crêpes until the batter is finished. (makes about eight 8-inch in diameter crêpes).
based on our recipe for manicotti with homemade ricotta
- spinach (“cooked” with salt)
- 1 c Ricotta cheese, well drained
- 1/3 c Mozzarella cheese, coarsely grated
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- fresh parsley, chopped finely
- dried oregano
- seasalt and pepper
- tomato sauce (we like sauce made with fresh tomatoes)
- crepes (from above)
- more Mozzarella, coarsely grated (for topping)
- more spinach, chopped (for topping)
- ham (optional for non-vegetarians)
- Assembly of Manicotti: (If you are using fresh pasta, put a thin layer of tomato sauce into a square pyrex casserole dish.) Spoon some ricotta filling in a line onto one side of the crepe. Gently roll the crepe into a tube and lay it seam side down in the casserole dish. Repeat, laying the tubes side by side in a single layer on top of the layer of sauce.
- Cover the rolled crepes with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Scatter a judicious amount of mozzarella overtop. If you are using ham, chop it coarsely and fry it briefly in butter before scattering it over the cheese. Scatter chopped spinach over the cheese.
- Bake COVERED at 350F for about 20 minutes and UNCOVERED for about 10 minutes more or until the cheese is tinged with gold.
» We have also used our tava instead of the cast-iron frying pan to cook crepes.
» We are omniverous in our household and while manicotti great as a vegetarian dish, we do like the addition of the ham. Especially as the ham was a spectacular Balleron we got from our local butcher. Obviously, the ham is optional. If you want vegetarian manicotti, simply omit the ham.
» Please note that if you are using fresh pasta instead of crepes, the pasta should be left UNcooked before rolling it into tubes and filling it. Unless you love mushy manicotti. In which case, by all means, be my guest and parboil it before filling it.
- other Manicotti recipes:
» Saveur Magazine: Sausage & Portebello Manicotti with Creamy Pesto Sauce (aka Grandma CeCe’s Manicotti)
» Epicurious: Marilyn’s Manicotti (Bon Appetit Magazine)
- recipes from OUR kitchen:
» revised manicotti recipe (vegetarian) (If you don’t want to make your own noodles, use the “oven-ready” kind.)
» 1st manicotti recipe
» tomato sauce made with olives, capers and fresh tomatoes
» tomato sauce made with mushrooms and tinned tomatoes
» other pasta recipes
» blog recipes index
» recipes from OUR kitchen: index
And the taste! Oh my! It tasted like more. It was so delicious that I had a second helping for dessert.
Over three years ago, Ruth (Once Upon a Feast) created the weekly event Presto Pasta Nights for people to share their favourite pasta dishes. Over the many weeks it was on, she put together a wonderful archive of pasta dishes from bloggers all over the world.
But, of course, all good things come to an end and Ruth hung up her PPN hat last November.
Or do all good things end???
Jacqueline (Tinned Tomatoes) decided to keep the pasta pots on the stoves. She changed things ever so slightly by changing the name and making it a monthly event. The hosts are different each month. Jacqueline is hosting this month and the theme is “cheese”.
I WAS going to submit this for Pasta Please this month. We used plenty of lovely mozzarella. But we also added the ham, making our manicotti entirely unsuitable for vegetarians. (When Jacqueline hosts PP, she also requests that the dishes be vegetarian.) Besides. If the manicotti is made with crepes, is it still pasta?
For complete details on how to participate in Pasta Please (PP), please read the following:
Some time ago, Ruth (Ruth’s Kitchen Experiments) created this event to urge herself (and everyone else) to actually make the several recipes they have bookmarked in various books, magazines and internet pages. Jacqueline has taken over Bookmarked Recipes as well.
Because she is vegetarian, she asks that submitted recipes be vegetarian OR that alternatives are given for how to make the dish vegetarian (simply leave out the ham).
For complete details on how to participate in Bookmarked Recipes, please read the following:
» stuffed manicotti from scratch (PPN)
» ricotta leek pie (bookmarked recipe)
» Rava Dosa and Coconut Chutney (BTFF)
» Coconut Milk Shroves and Coconut Chicken Curry (BTFF)
» Did you remember to have shroves on Tuesday?