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Vita Greco's Manicotti (Cheese-filled Crepes)
 

This recipe comes from Next Door to the Chicken Market, the second Italian recipe book written by Vita Greco. The new 140 page recipe book contains more than 100 new recipes of all the Italian dishes made by Vita Greco and her family . . . appetizers, main dishes, pastas, chicken, meats, vegetables, soups, salads, sandwiches, sauces, gravies, breads, desserts, specialty items, and even a Wine Chart.

Ingredients

Gravy or Sauce (See recipe)

Crêpes:
1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Milk
1 Egg, beaten
1/2 tsp Salt

Ricotta Filling:
(Use this for Manicotti, Stuffed Shells, Lasagne, etc)
15 Oz Ricotta, I use low fat
8 Oz Cream Cheese *
1 Extra large Egg
Lots of fresh Parsley
Black Pepper to taste
A handful of Grated Cheese
handful of Grated Mozzarella

*I use fat free - don't be afraid to use the Cream Cheese it will keep the Ricotta firm and smooth, believe me!

Method

Crêpes:

  • Mix ingredients together, and stir and blend until smooth.
  • Drop 1/4 of a cup of mixture onto a hot, non-stick 6" pan. Crêpes should form and become dry almost instantly as you swirl the pan and its contents. Turn crêpe over to cook other side quickly.
  • Remove cooked crêpe to waxed paper to cool. They can be stacked with waxed paper between each and then placed in the freezer until you're ready to fill them.

This makes about 9 crepes that can be filled with more than just ricotta. The trick is to make them as thin as you can. Crêpes can be used for Manicotti, Cannelloni, Blintzes, etc. Let your imagination be your guide.

Ricotta Filling:

  • Whip all of the ingredients together until mixed well.
  • Place a spoonful of filling in the center of each Crêpe and roll up, tuck in the ends. If the Crêpes don't stay closed, use a bit of the Ricotta mixture on the seam.
  • Spread a little Sauce or Gravy on the bottom of a baking pan to evenly coat the pan. Then, arrange Manicotti loosely in the pan, and cover with Sauce or Gravy. Top with Mozzarella, and bake at 350º until cheese melts and Sauce or Gravy is bubbly.

This is so easy and such a crowd pleaser!

This makes a lot of filling that can be refrigerated and used at another time. Using low fat products makes for a longer shelf life.

Note:
There is a very big difference between frozen and fresh Ricotta filling even though frozen is, also, good. The fresh, however, is softer, creamier, better tasting, and easy to make. Good Manicotti is made with a Crepe shell, not a Macaroni shell there is a definite difference.

Serves 4 - 6

 
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