Manicotti

manicotti

MANICOTTI CREPE

This recipe makes 80 crepes but can easily be halved or quartered. This dish is such a family favorite we usually make all 80 and freeze some for another time.

12 large eggs
4 cups flour
4 cups water
8 tablespoons melted butter (cooled)
Beat eggs, flour and water until smooth, then add the melted butter. Cover batter and refrigerate overnight.

I happen to be lucky enough to have my grandmother’s well-seasoned cast-iron crepe pan, but a nonstick crepe pan will do as well. Using a well-seasoned crepe pan or nonstick 5- to 6-inch frying pan, heat pan on low-medium flame, brush pan with canola oil or melted butter. (I usually do a tester before I really get started to make sure pan is hot enough, etc.)

Then ladle ½ cup of batter into the pan and swirl it so it spreads onto the entire surface. Cook until the edges start browning and top seems dry.

Loosen the edges (I use a fork but a spatula would do the trick as well). Then flip the crepe and let it cook for a few seconds. (I find this is a feel sort of thing—you just can tell when it’s ready!)

You can make these up to three days ahead. Allow to cool on a rack briefly. Stack them individually with wax paper between them and place in a zip-lock bag till ready to use.

RICOTTA FILLING

6 pounds ricotta
4 eggs
2 pounds mozzarella, cubed
Milk as needed (to adjust the consistency)

Mix all above ingredients except milk. We want it to be thick, not runny.

Romano cheese, salt, pepper and chopped parsley, to taste

And now the assembly… oops … what about the sauce? Truly, you can use any sauce—your own or a jar of store-bought. We are biased; we use our own.

Take a crepe and spread ricotta mixture in center, fold one edge over the other and place in a large ovenproof casserole pan that has some sauce spread lightly over the bottom. Repeat. Add sauce to top of prepared crepes, sprinkle with romano, salt and pepper. We recommend only 1 layer as it is easier to serve.

Bake at 350° for 20–30 minutes. And remember: They must settle for at least 10 minutes before serving or you will have a runny mess—still delicious, but not pretty!!

Serve with tiny meatballs if you’d like, sprinkle with parsley, and enjoy!

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