Thursday, July 21, 2011

Homemade Manicotti with white and red sauce

Pasta Ingredients

5 cups all purpose flour (adjust according to size of eggs you use, might need to add more flour)
5 cups water
15 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt

1.Mix flour, water, eggs and salt in bowl til it makes a smooth thin batter (sort of like pancakes or crepes)
2. Next pour about 1/4 of batter onto lightly greased griddle. Cook about a min flipping once. It is a lot like making a pancake just not really a pancake
3. I let them cool by layering them in between wax paper, then I just set them aside.

White sauce ingredients

2 tbs butter
2-1/2 tsp butter
2 tbs all purpose flour
2-1/2 tsp all purpose flour
2 tbs chicken bouillon granules
2-1/2 tsp chicken bouillon granules
2-3/4 cups half and half
2 tbs half and half
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

1. Melt the butter (both amounts) in a small sauce pan over medium heat.
2. Stir in flour (both amounts) and chicken bouillon (both amounts)
3. Increase heat to medium high and cook, stir constantly until it begins to bubble up.
4. Stir in half and half (both amounts) and bring to a boil stirring frequently, cook for 1 min and stir constantly for the entire minute.
5. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh parsley

Marinara Sauce Ingredients

2-1/2 (14.5 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes
1-1/4 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
1/4 cup & 1 tbs chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1-1/4 cloves minced garlic
1-1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1-1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/3 cup & 2 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup & 2 tbs white wine
1/3 cup, 1 tbs and 1 teaspoon finely diced onions

1. In a food processor mix tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper and oregano.
2. Blend til smooth
3. In a large pan sautee the onion in olive oil on medium heat for about 2mins.
4. Add the sauce mixture and the wine, simmer for about 30mins. You will want to stir occasionally.

Filling Ingredients

1/2 cup chopped onions
3 tbs olive oil
8-1/2 cloves finely chopped garlic (garlic press is an amazing invention!)
2 pounds crumbled Italian sausage
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
4 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup mozarella
1/4 shredded fresh parmesean cheese (if you only have grated that works too)
4 eggs, beaten


1. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat and sautee onion until clear.
2. Sautee garlic cloves for a ming and then stir in the sausage
3. Cook until sausage is done, season with a little salt then set aside and let cool down.
4. Cook the spinach how you normally would. I just put it in the microwave and cooked it for a few mins.
5. Add the cooked spinach, ricotta cheese, mozzarella and parmesean cheese to the sausage mixture above in steps 1-4.
6. When the mixture has cooled down mix in the eggs then set aside

Stuffing and Assembling the Manicotti

I would make the pasta shells first then the filling followed by the red sauce and finally the white is made last.

Now that your manicotti shells have cooled down next you want to put some of the sausage filling on the edge of the pasta shell and roll it into a tube.You want to tuck the side that has the filling on it over the other side of the filling and roll it into a tube shape. The amount of the mixture you want to add depends on how stuffed you want them. I used about 3 tbs in each shell.

In a 9x13 baking dish (you might need two dishes lol) spread about a 1/4 cup of the marinara sauce on the bottom. Put the already stuffed manicotti shells in the baking dish on top of the marinara sauce. Cover with saran wrap and set aside.

Now you want to preheat the oven to 350 degrees while you make the white sauce.
Once you have made the white sauce you want to immediately pour the sauce over the already stuffed manicotti shells in the baking dish. Then you want to layer the red sauce over it without mixing them. So basically you are layering the two sauces. If they get mixed it's not the end of the world.

Cover and bake for 45mins. Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh shredded parmesean cheese about 1/2 cup..It really depends on how much you like parmesean cheese. Bake uncovered for ten more mins.

Ok there it homemade manicotti. It takes a bit to make but it is SO good and everyone will love it. For the marinara you can use hamburger meat if you choose to but I prefer crumbled sausage.

I also don't usually use canned tomatoes and my marinara sauce cooks all day but my personal recipe is a family secret so it is never given out...hehe This sauce will work just fine, you can also used canned sauce if you don't want to make it.

This goes really well with homemade garlic basil parmesean breadsticks which I will post next and link to in here.