Ricotta and mozzarella cheese are enveloped in light and tender crepes, dressed in homemade tomato sauce and baked to a molten-hot, bubbly finish that is, simply put, irresistible!
The result is an incredibly creamy manicotti that melts in your mouth and is rich without being heavy. Using crepes rather than tube pasta makes for a more cohesive dish with the contrast between crepe and filling being a subtle one.
There is a huge difference between the dried manicotti tubes sold in the market and these airy, eggy crepes, which I prefer. They have a ton more flavor and are softer and thinner than the tubes which tend to be overly thick to withstand being handled. They are my least favorite kind of pasta.
It hurts to say that because pasta is so endearing to me. I couldn’t imagine living without it and there are only a few that I really don’t like. But wish I did!
The crepes are a lot easier and less messier to fill too.
You definitely need to plan ahead and give yourself about an hour and a half of prep time, especially if making your own sauce, which I highly recommend!
The crepes are worth taking the time to make and you can make them ahead if you like. Stack them on a plate (they don’t stick together), wrap with saran wrap and store them in the refrigerator. Don’t worry about making the crepes real thin or perfectly round, once they’re rolled up, it’s not an issue.
If you find yourselves with crepes and ricotta cheese leftover you can easily make them into a dessert. Mix in a little bit of sugar, fresh fruit, roll up in the crepe and top with whip cream, confectioners sugar or chocolate sauce. The possibilities are endless! How about Nutella and bananas? Voila! Instant bliss.