Recipe courtesy of Vita Greco

Manicotti

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 30 min
  • Prep: 1 hr 50 min
  • Cook: 40 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Ingredients

Crepes for Manicotti:

For the meat:

For the meatballs:

For the gravy:

Directions

  1. To make crepes: Mix ingredients together and stir until smooth. Drop by spoonfuls or 1/4 cup of mixture onto a hot, lightly greased nonstick 6-inch pan. Crepes should form and become dry almost instantly as you swirl the pan and its contents. Turn crepe over to cook other side quickly. Remove cooked crepe 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. Use for cannelloni, blintzes, etc.
  2. To make ricotta filling: Whip all of the ricotta filling ingredients together. Place a spoonful of filling in the center of each crepe, then roll up, and tuck in the ends. Spread a little sauce on the bottom of a baking pan to evenly coat the pan. Then, arrange manicotti in pan loosely and cover with sauce. Bake at 425 degrees F, when the sauce bubbles, serve.

For the gravy:

  1. Prepare the meats: In a large skillet, brown all the meats in the olive oil. There is no need to cook the meats all the way through. Remember to pierce the sausage before cooking to allow fats and water to be released. Set meats aside.
  2. Prepare meatballs: Combine all ingredients except the olive oil in a large bowl. Form the meatballs with your hands (there should be about 12). Fry in the olive oil over medium heat until browned, but not cooked all the way through. Set aside.
  3. For the gravy: Saute garlic in the olive oil in the same skillet used to saute the meats. Add tomato paste and cook for a few minutes. In a large saucepot, combine the remaining ingredients except the meats and the tomato paste-garlic mixture and simmer. When the mixture begins to bubble, add all the meats and the meatballs. Stir about every 15 minutes, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to prevent burning and sticking. If the gravy seems too thick, add a little water at a time. Simmer for about 3 hours, keeping the lid of the pot slightly askew to prevent condensation of the gravy. 
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