Crepes for Manicotti

Have you ever made homemade pasta? Oh my, it is a game changer my friends! It is so delicate and wonderful, it totally takes your meal to the next level.

I have been making my own pasta since the early days of our marriage. I bought an Italian cookbook that had a recipe for tri color fettuccine alfredo that I knew I had to try. Hubby bought me a wonderful Atlas pasta machine and I taught myself how to make homemade pasta, including carrot and spinach fettuccine.

It is a lot fun, impressive and delicious, but let’s be real, it’s a little bit of work too. These days when I make it, I make extra to put in the freezer as well.

Recently, I was on Facebook, in an Instant Pot group I belong to, and they were discussing making lasagna in your pot. It’s on my list to try as it is super easy and you use a springform cheesecake pan. Well the owner of the group was talking about how she makes her own noodles and it is super easy. She showed a picture and her noodles were perfectly round.

My little brain started thinking- that’s a lot of extra work just to get round noodles, I’d rather stick with a tradition lasagna… but then I kept reading and she was using CREPES.

I remembered also reading a couple of years ago that manicotti is frequently made with crepes, so this made sense.  I definitely want to try the instant pot lasagna soon-but on this day, I decided to give the manicotti a try.

I know, crepes seem very difficult, how is this really making this dish simpler than making your own pasta dough? Well, I think if you give crepes a try, you will see they are worth an extra few minutes.

Years ago we went to a friend’s house, her kids were just finishing breakfast, and i was surprised to see that they were having crepes, on a week day 🙂
My friend assured me that what I thought was fancy and difficult was the easiest thing in the world. She then proceeded to give me a crepe lesson, and truly it is just a matter of getting the technique down, and learning the quirks of your kitchen tools. I have learned that my 9 inch cast iron skillet and a little less than a 1/4 cup of batter make the perfect size/thickness of crepe. I also had to use more oil in my pan than I thought.

Now, to make sure this blog post doesn’t get EVEN LONGER 🙂 I’m going to recommend that you go on You Tube and watch some videos on how to make them at home. The ingredients are not expensive, so don’t feel badly about tossing a few as you learn, but I think you will catch on really quickly.

The filling is super simple, combine the cheeses with some parsley. I then used one of my cookie scoops to portion out the filling, about 3 tablespoons per crepe noodle.

After ladling a little marinara in my pans, I placed the rolled manicotti in the pans.

After topping with more mozzarella I covered with foil and baked for 20 minutes, and then uncovered for 20 more.

Now, you may be a little skeptical like I was, how does a thin egg-y pancake end up tasting like delicate pasta? Something magical must happen while it bakes, because it totally does. 🙂  I hope you will give these a try, maybe this weekend.

Manicotti with Crepe Noodles

Ingredients

CREPE NOODLES:

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

FILLING:

  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley or 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes optional
  • 1-1.5 quarts good marinara sauce homemade is best
  • Additional mozzarella cheese for topping

Instructions

  1. Place flour in a bowl; whisk in milk, eggs and salt until smooth. Rest in the fridge at least one hour. Pour a scant 1/4 cup onto a hot greased 9 inch skillet; quickly twirl pan to distribute batter all around forming a circle. Cook over medium heat until set; Turn when the top looks dry, about 40-45 seconds first side, 10-15 seconds on the second. Repeat with remaining batter, making about 12 crepes. Stack crepes on a plate; set aside.
  2. For filling, combine cheeses, egg and parsley. Spoon 3-4 tablespoons down the center of each crepe; roll up. Pour half of the spaghetti sauce into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Place crepes, seam side down, over sauce; pour remaining sauce over top. Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese if desired and bake 20 minutes longer or until heated through. Yield: 6 servings.

This post is part of the Weekend Potluck, be sure to check it our for many great recipes.

 

 

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