Manicotti Crepes

Manicotti CrepesIngredients :

  • tomato sauce (or 1 jar prepared):
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • olive oil, for sauteing
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons dried Italian Seasoning mix, crushed between fingertips ( with basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram and rosemary)28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (like Tuttarosa)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (to start and more to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper (to start and more to taste)
  • pinch of sugar if highly acidic
  • crepes:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • filling:
  • 3 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, grated
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1. In a large saucepan sauté onion and green pepper in a few tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat until soft; add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add tomato paste and seasonings, stirring it into the onion mixture, cook for 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes, water, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Simmer for 45 minutes. Taste and add salt/pepper and more dried seasonings if needed. Remove bay leaf before serving.
2. Meanwhile make the crepes: measure flour into a large mixing bowl, crack the eggs over it and whisk them in. Add salt and whisk in milk, a little at a time, until all milk is incorporated. Allow batter to stand for 20 minutes.
3. Make the filling: mix ricotta, 1/2 of the mozzarella, parsley and nutmeg together; season with salt and pepper.
4. Heat a 6-inch, nonstick pan until hot and brush with olive oil. Reduce heat to medium and ladle 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons batter into the pan, twirling it to coat the pan or using the bottom of the ladle in a circular motion from middle outwards to spread out the batter. Cook 30 to 40 seconds, until pale golden, and then flip. Cook on other side 20 seconds and remove to a plate. Continue the process until all the batter has been used.
5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch casserole pan. Add a thin layer of sauce over bottom. Place about 3 tablespoons of the cheese mixture on one edge of crepe and roll up, place in pan. Continue filling crepes until all are full, placing them in pan and making a second layer.
6. Cover liberally in sauce and sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Bake about 25-35 minutes or until sauce is bubbly. Allow to set for 5-10 minutes before serving.

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