Manicotti Crepes

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.

Manicotti Crepes

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Manicotti Crepes

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!

INGREDIENTS:

tomato sauce (or 1 jar prepared):
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
olive oil, for sauteing
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can tomato paste
2 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning mix, crushed between fingertips
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (like Tuttarosa)
1/4 cup water
1 bay leaf
pinch of sugar if highly acidic
crepes:
1 + 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
filling:
3 cups ricotta cheese
1 pound fresh mozzarella, grated
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a large saucepan saute onion and green pepper in a few tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat until soft, seasoning well with salt and pepper Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add tomato paste and seasonings stirring it into the onion mixture, cook for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes, water, bay leaf and season well with salt and pepper. Simmer for 45 minutes. Taste and add salt/pepper and more dried seasonings if needed. Remove bay leaf before serving.
  3. Meanwhile make the crepes: measure flour into a large mixing bowl, crack the eggs over it and whisk them in. Add salt and whisk in milk, a little at a time, until all milk is incorporated. Allow batter to stand for 20 minutes.
  4. Make the filling: mix ricotta, 1/2 of the mozzarella, parsley and nutmeg together; season with salt and pepper.
  5. Heat a 6-inch, nonstick pan until hot and brush with olive oil. Reduce heat to medium and ladle 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons batter into the pan, twirling it to coat the pan or using the bottom of the ladle in a circular motion from middle outwards to spread out the batter. Cook 30 to 40 seconds, until pale golden, and then flip. Cook on other side 20 seconds and remove to a plate. Continue the process until all the batter has been used.
  6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch casserole pan. Add a thin layer of sauce over bottom. Place about 3 tablespoons of the cheese mixture on one edge of crepe and roll up, place in pan. Continue filling crepes until all are full, placing them in pan and making a second layer.
  7. Cover liberally in sauce and sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Bake about 25-35 minutes or until sauce is bubbly. Allow to set for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Notes:

Adapted from Mario Batali

http://www.cinnamonspiceandeverythingnice.com/manicotti-crepes/

Comments

  1. Pauline Tran says

    Wowww. Those look pretty awesome and delectable. It tricks you and makes you think they’re enchiladas, but shabam – they’re actually italian manicotti crepes! Love the idea of using crepes instead of manicotti. I’ll have to try this sometime. Thanks!

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