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Baked Manicotti with Homemade Shells and Marinara Sauce

Kathy and Rose Ellen are delighted to share these recipes for manicotti and marinara sauce. A nod to Food Sharing Network Chris Mathieu’s mother, Helen Mathieu, and her mother, Anna Ucci, who introduced Kathy to homemade manicotti.

Baked Manicotti with Homemade

Shells and Marinara Sauce

Forgive the lack of cabinet drawers -the kitchen is in transition.

Kathy Mathieu and Rose Ellen Lorber-Termaat. Forgive the lack of cabinet doors – the kitchen is in transition.

Marinara Sauce

The Basics:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • I large onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 generous handfuls fresh parsley, thick stems removed and coarsely chopped
  • 8 to 10 fresh basil leaves
  • 3 28 ounce cans San Marzano* peeled tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons concentrated tomato paste in the tube
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Cook garlic and onions on medium heat in enough oil to coat pan for 3 to 5 minutes just until light golden.

Push the vegetables aside and add tomato paste. Cook for another 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes. Break up whole tomatoes with potato masher or edge of spoon until chunky. Do not crush completely.

Add rest of ingredients.

Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Turn down to low.

Simmer covered for an hour. Don’t forget to stir often.

Adjust seasoning.

Remove cover and cook at a lively simmer until thickened, about 30 more minutes. Stir often.

*It is especially worth the extra expense to use a high quality, fresh tasting canned tomato when making a meatless sauce, as well as fresh basil and parsley.

Homemade Manicotti

The Basics:

  • 3 pounds whole milk ricotta
  • 1 1/2 pounds shredded mozzarella, whole milk or part skim
  • 3 eggs, unbeaten
  • 3 cups flour
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • Canola oil cooking spray

Mix together 2 cheeses and unbeaten eggs. Set aside.

Combine beaten eggs, whole milk and flour using a wooden spoon or spatula. Some lumps of flour with remain.

Spray 8-inch fry pan with canola oil.

Heat pan over medium heat. Do not allow oil to turn brown.

Pour ¼ cup of batter into pan, turning pan so batter is evenly spread. *

Cook until dry on top. Turn over carefully, cooking 5 to 10 seconds on the other side just until done.

Add additional spray as needed. If oil turns brown, wipe out pan with paper towel.

Stack up what will resemble crepes. Remember to handle them gently.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put a cup of sauce or so in a 11 x 14 inch pan (or its equivalent), coating bottom lightly.

Divide the filling among the shells. The easiest way to do this the first time is to evenly distribute filling before rolling.

Roll shells and place seam side down on sauce. Cover the shells with sauce. Cover the pan, and cook in preheated oven for about 35 to 40 minutes until hot throughout and bubbly at edges.

Cool in pan 10 minutes before serving.

Yield: Approximately 30

We served the baked manicotti with Italian bread, roasted asparagus with Parmesan and fennel salad.

* It can take practice to get the shells right, but you can always make more batter if necessary. This time I lost one when the pan got too hot, and the shell turned brown. And don’t panic if the shells are not perfectly round. It doesn’t matter.

One Response to “Baked Manicotti with Homemade Shells and Marinara Sauce”

  1. EM says:

    Looks amazing!

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