Sweet Sausage Manicotti

Crepes:
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons melted butter, plus extra for greasing the pan
1 cup flour
Pinch salt
 

Filling:

1‑1/2 pounds whole milk ricotta
1 heaping cup grated mozzarella
1/4 cup finely grated pecorino
2 large eggs
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley
1 tablespoon chopped basil
Salt to taste
 

Sauce:

1 28-ounce can pureed tomatoes
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, bulk, or squeezed from casing
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/4 peeled and grated Idaho potato
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Few grindings black pepper
Pinch sugar (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped basil
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

 

 

Crepes:

  1. In a blender container, blend the water, milk, eggs and butter. Add the flour and salt, blend until smooth and free of lumps. Pour into a bowl and allow the batter to rest for an hour.
  2. Heat an 8″ non-stick skillet to medium heat. Have waiting melted butter and a pastry brush. Brush a light coat of butter over the surface and when hot, with a ladle, pour in 2-3 tablespoons of batter. Quickly and carefully tilt the pan in a rotating motion until the batter forms a thin, round layer in the pan. Let cook, 30 seconds or more until the bottom is set and starting to color. Lift a set edge with a fork or small offset spatula and flip the crepe over, cooking a bit longer until the bottom side is set (will be a bit shiny in places). Remove to a plate. Lightly grease the pan, and repeat the process, continuing until all of the batter has been used, you should have around 10-12 crepes.

Filling:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients well in a bowl.

Sauce:

  1. Heat an 8″ skillet over medium. Glaze with olive oil and sauté the sausage, turning and crumbling until no longer pink and beginning to brown. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, heat a 3 qt. sauce pan to medium. Add the olive oil, Add the garlic and the potato, stirring and cooking until fragrant ( do not allow the potato to crisp and brown). Add the pureed tomatoes, the sausage and any accumulated juices from the pan, a pinch of salt and some grindings of pepper. Bring to a low boil and reduce heat to a simmer, cooking until thick and flavorful, 20-30 minutes. Taste and decide whether you would like to add the optional sugar for sweetness. Check for salt. Allow sauce to cool at least 10 minutes.

To Assemble and Bake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease an 9 x 13 inch Pyrex or other non-metallic baking dish. Ladle some sauce onto the bottom of the dish, enough to cover.
  2. Assemble the manicotti. Select your 10 most beautiful crepes. Shinier side up, (the second side cooked), scoop a thick line (approx 2 tablespoons), of filling along the center of each crepe, and roll wrapper around filling. Filling should extend to the ends. Line up filled manicotti in the sauce-covered dish. Snuggle them together – 10 will fill the dish perfectly. Pour over the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese and sprinkle with a little more chopped basil.
  3. Bake, uncovered 35-40 minutes until hot and bubbling. Place under a high broiler a couple of minutes to if you desire to further brown the cheese. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

 

***Takes 2 hrs to make***

****Recipe from Buddy Valastro (Kitchen Boss)***

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