So after making the recipe for fried wontons that I posted yesterday, I had some leftover large square wraps. I wanted to do something with them. Something that was different. Then all the sudden it hit me, the wraps are actually considered pasta, I am going to use them to make manicotti. It would be just like I made my own fresh pasta, duh! Next I wanted a really good recipe to make the manicotti. I didn’t want to use bottled sauce. I wanted something that was more authentic. Then I remembered that Melanie at My Kitchen Cafe had posted a manicotti recipe a little while ago. I pulled it up on here site and it was just what I was looking for. It had a sauce made from canned tomatoes and a yummy ricotta filling.
Oh, this manicotti turned out divine! I would say that it would rival that which you can get at a good Italian restaurant. I felt like I was eating at Bucca di Peppo. It was just like fresh pasta. It was also so much easier than trying to stuff those slippery cone type manicotti shells you find on the pasta isle. Add a nice green salad and slice of good bread and you are set. I served this with the garlic herb braid that I recently posted, but a slice of herbed garlic bread or homemade french bread would have also been excellent.
One serving of this was also very filling. I was able to get 2 meals out of it. Next time, I am going to try the tip below and freeze half of the recipe.
- 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (in juice)
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 medium cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
Cheese Filling and Pasta
- 3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
- 4 ounces grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 cups)
- 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (about 2 cups)
- 2 large eggs , lightly beaten
- 3/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
- 10 large square wraps (like for egg rolls. You should be able to find in the refrigerated portion of the produce section of you local grocery store)
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat oil, garlic, and pepper flakes (if using) in large saucepan over medium heat until fragrant but not brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, basil and 1/2 teaspoon salt and simmer until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, eggs, salt, pepper, and herbs; set aside.
- Spread bottom of baking dish evenly with 1 1/2 cups sauce. Using spoon, spread 1/4 cup cheese mixture evenly onto bottom three-quarters of each wrap, leaving top quarter of wrap exposed. Roll into tube shape and arrange in baking dish seam side down. (You should be able to fit 8 manicotti in one row and 2 along the edge). Top evenly with remaining sauce, making certain that pasta is completely covered.
- Cover manicotti with aluminum foil. Bake until bubbling, about 40 minutes, then remove foil. Sprinkle manicotti evenly with remaining 1 cup Parmesan. Bake until cheese is browned and bubbly, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 15 minutes before serving. Serves 10
[Tip from My Kitchen Cafe recipe - I haven't tried this yet but I would think it would work. I will try it next time I make it. The manicotti can be prepared right up until the baking step then covered with a sheet of parchment paper, wrapped in aluminum foil, and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month. (If frozen, thaw the manicotti in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days.) To bake, remove the parchment, replace the aluminum foil, and increase baking time to 1 to 1 1/4 hours.]
This recipe was tested with Azumaya large square wraps.