Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Manicotti with Face

One of my favorite budget friendly meals is best cooked with my little boy Face. It's a recipe called:
Marilyn's Manicotti
Bon Appétit March 1990
by Marilyn B. Leone: Huntington Beach, California
yield 8 servings
Marinara Sauce
2 pounds tomatoes, peeled, seeded (I used our own Organic Tomato Farming )
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
5 fresh basil leaves, cut julienne
1 teaspoon salt

For sauce:Chop tomatoes in processor. Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until soft (do not brown), about 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, then tomatoes, basil and salt. Simmer until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Set aside.

One pound box of large manicotti noodles, cooked according to package directions and drained. About 16.
I don't want to freak out anyone. I normally use the ricotta, homemade. However, since I have not done a tutorial on that on the blog yet, just know, it can be done.
1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
1 cup freshly grated Romano cheese
2 eggs, beaten to blend
1/4 pound prosciutto, coarsely chopped (optional. My vegetarian husband won't eat it.)
2 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley

Beat ricotta in medium bowl until smooth and creamy. Mix in 1 cup Romano cheese, eggs, prosciutto and minced fresh parsley.

I usually fill a large pastry bag with the filling and squeeze it into the manicotti, but it is also really fun to give the kiddos a small spoon and see them try to fill up the pasta tubes.
Lay out in a casserole and cover with sauce. We have fun at this point. Some we did with Alfredo sauce...

Some we did with the homemade marinara...

(Can be prepared ahead. Cover noodles and sauce separately and refrigerate 1 day or freeze up to 2 weeks. Rewarm sauce over low heat, stirring occasionally.)
Stir whole basil leaves into sauce. Pour sauce over noodles. Sprinkle lightly with additional Romano cheese. Cover tightly with foil. Bake until heated through, about 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

There you go.

1 comment:

mlebagley said...

I love stuffed manicotti, but the 'stuffing' part has always been the most patience breaking activity for me...so I never make them. I LOVE your idea of putting the filling in a pastry bag. You are brilliant. Hands down.