Courtesy of Chef Carol Murko
When I think of the Christmas season there is one recipe that comes to mind: manicotti!
This tradition has been handed down from my great-grandmother to my grandmother to my mother to me. This is the essence of heirloom meals: recipes passed down through the generations—always savoring yesterday’s traditions today. This was my Nana’s signature dish, and we always had it as the pasta course of our Christmas dinner.
The funny thing about manicotti is its pronunciation. For those who speak phonetically, it is man-uh-COTT-ee. When I was little I pronounced it “mon-uh-GUT” (pronounced in American Italian) like my family did. Most of my friends had a quizzical look on their faces. So I have gotten into the habit of saying it twice—like Jimmy Two-Times from Goodfellas. mon-uh-GUT (MANICOTTI)—get it?
I am sure most of you have had manicotti but may be thinking large tubular noodle stuffed with ricotta (pronounced Italian-style: rick-COTE-uh). Well, my family recipe will transform your idea of manicotti forever! This is our recipe for heavenly light crepes: Fill them with luscious ricotta filling and finish with some sauce—the best!
Carole Murko is a home cook, writer and host of “Radio Heirloom Meals” on Robin Hood Radio (NPR) at 91.5 FM in Sharon, Connecticut. She has hosted and produced TV specials for PBS