Ever since I began to make this recipe, I'll never go back to store bought shells again! It's actually easier to make and stuff your own crepe's than it is to boil the shells and have them fall apart while filling them. I can't believe how easy it is and my grandmother is proud of me now! Whenever I make these Manicotti, i always make extra and freeze them individually without sauce, so that on those nights when your running late, take a jar of sauce and layer in a baking dish and cover with foil. bake about 45 minutes and have a home cooked meal in less than an hour! Just add a salad and bread! I hope you all enjoy!
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup water
- 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- non stick Pam cooking spray
- 2 lbs whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1⁄2 cup pecorino romano cheese, freshly grated
- 1 cup shredded whole milk mozzarella
- 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped (dried can be used)
- 4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (dried can be used)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 2 quarts marinara sauce
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, for topping
- In either a blender or mixing bowl mix together the eggs and water first.
- Add flour into this slowly till smooth.
- Put in refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour. (this can be made a day before to save on time).
- While the crepe mixture is resting, start on the filling.
- In a large bowl mix together the Ricotta, Pecorino Romano cheese, Mozzarella, basil, parsley, eggs and pepper.
- Mix till all ingredients are incorporated.
- Cover and put in refrigerator till needed.
- After the crepe mixture has rested for 1/2 hour you can start to prepare them. I use an 8-inch non-stick fry pan. You can use one of them or a crepe pan. Just make sure it's non stick. Very important!
- Heat the pan on medium heat. Once heated spray with Pam till bottom and sides are covered.
- Pour 1/3 cup of the batter into the pan and swirl and tilt till the bottom of the pan is covered evenly. Return to burner. (If you think you need more or less mixture in the pan adjust accordingly. You want a thin even layer on the bottom of your pan).
- Let it cook till the top of the crepe appears dry. About 1 minute or so. When you first put the mixture in the pan, the top is "wet" looking, slowly it will start to look "dry". Once it's all dry, take a butter knife or spatula and slide under the crepe and flip over. cook for 5 seconds more.
- The crepe should slide out of the pan onto your surface. I put a sheet of aluminum foil on my counter and as I made the crepes I just slide them out onto the foil till they cool. Once cooled you can arrange them on the foil so they overlap each other.
- Spray you pan again with Pam and make another crepe. Do this till all the batter is gone. This recipe makes approx 16-20 crepes.
- Preheat your oven to 325°F.
- Take a baking pan (13x9-inch or larger) and cover the bottom with sauce. The sauce should be room temperature, so that the cheese doesn't melt out of the crepe while you are filling them.
- To assemble the crepe, place about 2 tablespoons of the filling in a line across the crepe and roll it up. place them seam side down in the pan.
- Continue doing that till the pan is full. Based on what size pan you use, that will determine how many you can get in the pan.
- Any extra manicotti that you roll that doesn't fit in the pan can be frozen and kept in a freezer bag for at least 3 months. In the description above I tell you how to recook them.
- Once the pan is full, put another layer of sauce on top of the stuffed manicotti till they are all covered.
- Cover pan tightly in foil.
- Place in 325°F preheated oven and bake for 40 minutes.
- Take foil off and sprinkle the remaining cup of shredded Mozzarella evenly on the top.
- Put back in oven till cheese melts and slightly browns (approx 5-10 minutes).
- Take out of oven and let rest at least 10 minutes and Enjoy!
- Serve with a nice salad and a warm loaf of Italian bread and you have a great meal!