This past Saturday we had a meeting of our Cayo Hueso dinner club at our home. It's a monthly get together of eating and drinking and good conversation with friends. I arranged an Italian team of baked manicotti, chicken marsala, green beans with mint and garlic and lots of red wine of course! Our friends always include the apps etc to round out the meal. The chicken recipe and marinara sauce used to top the manicotti have been on previous posts.
Do you call your marinara, tomato sauce, or gravy? I call it sauce, but that's my choice since that was what it was called in our home growing up.To me gravy is brown, white or au jus, sorry, I digress, back to my manicotti which is to die for, worth the calories and melt in your mouth. Making your own shells makes all the difference, is not hard and makes you look like a genius! It's like making a crepe with a cheese filling. I made the shells and filling the day before, then rolled and baked them before my guests arrived. This is my Mom's recipe, a family secret, but I will share it with you (o:
BAKED MANICOTTI (SERVES 8 TO 10)
1 1/4 cups unsifted all purpose flour
1/4 teasp salt
combine all ingredients:
2lbs ricotta cheese
1pkg (8oz) mozzarella (diced or shreaded)
1/3 cup parmesean cheese
1 tblsp chopped parsley]1 teasp salt
1/4 teasp pepper
Make shells: in a bowl combine all shell ingredients with 1/1/4 cups water and mix with a portable mixer until smooth. Melt 1 teasp butter in 7" skillet ( I use a Teflon type pan and just use butter for the 1st pour). Pour 2 tblsp (or more) batter rotating pan quickly to spread batter evenly over the bottom of the pan.. Cook over medium heat until the top is dry but bottom is not brown, Cool on wire rack and then stack with waxed paper in between each shell until you are ready to bake.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Cover the bottom of your baking dish with a small amount of sauce. Place 1/4 cup filling in each shell and roll up. Place shells seam side down in a single layer and top with sauce and parmesean cheese and bake till bubbly.