If I had known how easy it was to make crepes, I would have been making my manicotti like this all along!
I always have preferred manicotti in an Italian restaurant because they use crepes. I hate the big pasta tubes they sell at the grocery store for manicotti. They are big, hard to fill and too thick. I found some manicotti made with crepes at Whole Foods, but it is a bit of a drive to get there and they are usually out of stock. I no longer have to make a special trip to have manicotti! The best part is that making crepes takes no time; I think it is quicker to make crepes that to boil noodles. I am so glad I got over my fear and gave crepes a try!
1 cup flour
1 cup milk (or more as needed to achieve a thin-pancake batter consistency)
1 egg, beaten
½ teaspoon salt
(each mixture makes 8-9 manicotti shells)
Stir milk gradually with flour until smooth Add, stirring constantly, the beaten egg to which the salt has been added. For each shell, spray a preheated 6-inch frying pan with olive oil cooking spray, and pour ¼ cup of the batter into the pan, tilting back and forth so that it spreads evenly.
When set on one side (30-35 seconds), turn and let the other side set (10 seconds). Slide off pan onto a clean work surface or dish and repeat until batter is used. (I separate the crepes with a piece of waxed paper to prevent them from sticking to each other).
7 ½ oz ricotta cheese
4 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic salt
Jar of your favorite pasta sauce
In a large bowl, combine cheeses, egg, garlic salt and pepper. Fill each crepe with 3-4 Tbsp of filling and roll. In large baking dish, pour a little sauce on the bottom of the dish. Place rolled manicotti seam side down in dish. Top with remaining sauce and extra mozzarella cheese. Bake covered at 375 for 20-25 minutes.