I love pasta. Whether it's a bowl of linguine or a plate of lasagna, it's all good to me. Most of the time I will make a simple dish like penne or spaghetti with marinara sauce but once in a while, when I have some time, I'll make something a little more involved like homemade manicotti. Instead of using store bought pasta I make crepes. They are actually easier to fill and they taste so much better. I'll show you how I made mine.
I have a basic crepe recipe I use for both sweet crepes and manicotti. There are only a few ingredients. If I am making sweet crepes I add sugar. I like to add different ingredients to the crepe mixture for a little extra flavor. It's fun to be creative here. I have been in the mood for basil lately so I decided to add some to this batch. By the way, these cool scissors make cutting fresh herbs so much easier. If you chop a lot of herbs, I highly recommend getting a pair! I do not use a crepe pan. I use a large frying pan that is brushed lightly with olive oil and a tiny bit of butter. I keep the heat low so the crepes don't burn or stick. I pour the crepes the same way I would pour a pancake but I make them much thinner. I flip them with a regular spatula. A thinner crepe makes a lighter, tastier manicotti. One recipe yielded fifteen 6-7 inch crepes. I fill the crepes with a blend of cheeses, egg and seasoning.
Once the crepes are rolled I will bake some and freeze the rest. I like to freeze them without sauce so I can easily take out what I need later.I will place the remaining manicotti in a greased baking pan that has a layer of sauce on the bottom.I cover the manicotti with additional sauce and some grated cheese and bake it for about 40 minutes. There are so many ways to make this great Italian dish. If you have a favorite recipe or fun idea, I would love to hear about it!
- Basic Crepe Recipe
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 3 eggs beaten
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- pinch of salt
- Cheese Filling for Manicotti
- 1 15 ounce container ricotta cheese
- 2 cups of your favorite shredded Italian cheese ( I use a blend of mozzarella, provolone, parmesan and asiago)
- 2 eggs beaten (for thicker cheese filing use 1 egg)
- salt and pepper
- Italian seasoning (optional)
- Additional Ingredients
- Pasta sauce ( 1 jar or 4 cups of homemade sauce)
- Grated cheese for topping
- Blend all ingredients in mixing bowl beating well. Let batter stand up to an hour for more perfect crepes.
- Pour a thin layer of batter into a heated pan that has been brushed lightly with olive oil and butter.
- Cook over low heat just until batter comes together to form a crepe.
- Flip crepe to cook other side and then carefully lift out of the pan with a spatula and place on a plate.
- Repeat until batter is gone.
- Blend all ingredients together.
- Place a few tablespoons of cheese mixture on top of each crepe and roll.
- Line the bottom of a greased pan with your favorite sauce (I use homemade marinara sauce. If using store bought sauce, you will need approximately 1 large jar for 1 batch of crepes.
- Cover the crepes with sauce and grated cheese (optional).
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes until the crepes are heated through.