Friday, 8 May 2015

Food Friday | May 8, 2015

Homemade Manicotti Recipe

Growing up with a chef for a grandfather (Opa), I have experienced a lot of foods that many people haven't. He has cooked all over Europe and North America and has acquired a lot of dishes not typically served around here, so when my friends don't know a certain food or dish I'm not usually all that surprised. That was until one of my friends hadn't heard of manicotti. I was so completely flabbergasted that I went out and bought all the ingredients to make it and prepared it for her for dinner the next day. She demanded I give her my recipe because she absolutely loved it.

When I was in my early teens I began showing a slight interest in cooking (mainly because I loved good food and wanted to know how to make it for myself anytime I wanted) and so I asked my Opa to teach me how to make caeser vinaigrette, his whole wheat bread recipe, German chocolate cake, and manicotti. I spent two weeks at his house one summer where he taught me all the recipes that I wanted to learn. Since then I have played with and tweaked all of them so that they are to my liking. Today I want to share with you how I make my homemade manicotti!

Part one: to start I will prepare the sauce the night before

2 cans tomato paste
4 tomatoes diced
11/2 cups water
1 clove minced garlic
2 teaspoons parsley
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
11/2 teaspoons oregano
11/2 teaspoons basil

1. Empty both cans of tomato paste into a large mixing bowl
2. Add the diced tomatoes and the water, mix well
3. Add in all the spices and mix well
4. Cover and place in fridge over night
*Note: you can use a canned sauce if you prefer, however you will still need to add the extra water in part three of this recipe

Part two: I then prepare my manicotti before lunch the day I plan to serve them

1 box (8 ounces) manicotti shells
1 container (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 package (10 ounces) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 egg
1/2 cup minced onion
2 teaspoons parsley
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1. Place manicotti shells in a pot of boiling water and cook halfway
2. Remove the shells from the pot and let cool
3. In a large mixing bowl combine ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, spinach and the egg, mix well
4. Add in all the spices and mix well
5. Stuff the cooled manicotti shells with the cheese mixture (I use my fingers as it's the easiest way to get a fully stuffed shell)
6. Cover and place in fridge

Part three: then, I assemble everything together and bake them in the oven

Spaghetti sauce from part one
1 cup water
Stuffed shells from part two
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Mix prepared sauce with 1 cup water
3. Spread 1 cup of sauce into the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan
4. Arrange stuffed shells in a single layer in the pan
5. Pour the remaining sauce over the shells, trying to cover them as best as possible
6. Sprinkle mozzarella and parmesan on top
7. Bake 45-55 minutes -until shells are completely soft and sauce begins to bubble
8. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes
9. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this recipe and I really hope you'll try it out!

Thanks for reading, xo, Katelyn