This is an act of love, that's what Holly told me when she gave this recipe to me a dozen years ago. It's what my daughter asks for on special occasions because she loves it and only then because she knows how much work goes into it. Don't let me scare you, it is very time consuming but simple and well worth it. So create this act of love for your family tonight.
Start with a simple marinara sauce.
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh basil or oregano, minced
2 large cans diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
In a large sauce pan, saute the onion in the oil.
32 oz. whole milk ricotta
1 lb. shredded mozzarella
1 1/2 cups parmesan
3 tablespoons minced parsley
This is easy--just mix all this in a bowl.
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup flour
I used a 15x10 inch baking dish, a little larger would be good but definitely not smaller. Spread about 1/3 of the sauce in the bottom of the pan, leave the rest to continue simmering and set the baking dish where you can reach it with the manicotti rolls.
Turn the burner on to medium high, using a good cooking spray, coat the skillet well. Allow the pan to heat but not scorch the spray. Pour an 1/8 cup of the crepe batter into the hot pan, swirling it around to coat the bottom of the pan.
Remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Serve with green salad just because it's good for you and it adds splendid color to the plate.
The sad part here is that when it came out of the oven, the aroma was so divine that we all forgot to photograph the finished product. Sorry. It didn't last long either but if you do have leftovers this is even better the next day!