Homemade Cheese Manicotti Shells

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Total Time
1hr 45mins
Prep
1 hr
Cook
45 mins

This is a traditional christmas speciality in our home. Manicotti is a labor of love. These are light and airy and they're "melt in your mouth good"; worth every second of the time it takes to prepare. If you use this as a first course, I calculate approximately 2 per person; as the main course with a salad, 4 per person would do nicely.

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Ingredients

Nutrition

Directions

  1. You are making a simple batter; resembling a crepe or pancake batter; consistancy is thin.
  2. In a blender mix all the ingredients.
  3. Heat a 5 to 6-inch skillet on medium heat on the stovetop; about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour 1/3 cup batter into the hot pan and swish the batter around very quickly, covering the bottom of the pan completely; 30 seconds.
  5. Aim for a thin, constant shell that covers the entire pan.
  6. Until the pan gets properly seasoned, you may lose one or two shells.
  7. If this happens, scrape the shell out, do not wet or rinse the pan.
  8. Return it to the heat and as the pan reheats, the bits stuck to the pan will dry out and can be brushed away.
  9. Success results as you go further along repeating the process.
  10. The shell is done when the sides curl away from the sides of the pan; some tiny bubbles may form on top, less than 1 minute.
  11. The shell will be light in color and pliable.
  12. Gently lift shell out of the pan with your fingers by pulling the shell away from the sides of the pan and transfer quickly onto wax paper.
  13. Cover with clean tea towel until ready to fill.
  14. This process goes very quickly.
  15. Depending on the size of the pans you use, this recipe makes about 50- 60 shells.
  16. Filling:In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and beat with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy- 3 minutes.
  17. Fill the shell with 1 rounded Tablespoon of cheese filling into the center of the round shell.
  18. Fold both ends into the middle and gently flatten out the filling.
  19. Place shell folded side down into roasting pan or cookie sheet which has been coated with tomato sauce.
  20. Top the shells with tomato sauce before cooking.
  21. Only one layer of shells to a pan.
  22. (I do these on a cookie sheet 1" high and get approximately 30 manicotti to a sheet).
  23. These can be frozen in this state at this point and made in advance, or Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and baked for 35-45 minutes or until the cheese has set and shells are firm to the touch.