italian manicotti
2 large  eggs
1 Tbsp  vegetable oil
  kosher salt
3/4 cup  white, unbleached flour
2/3 cup  skim milk
2/3 cup  water
1 Tbsp  olive oil
1 cup  onions, chopped
2 clove  garlic
5 oz.  baby spinach, cleaned
1 Tbsp  butter
4 oz.  whole milk mozzarella
1/4 cup  locatelli or pecorino romano cheese, grated
15 oz.  whole milk ricotta
  whole nutmeg
1 Tbsp  fresh italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
  black pepper
  prepared tomato sauce
start by making the batter for the homemade manicotti wrappers. crack 
eggs into a coffee cup and pour them into a blender. add the vegetable 
oil, a small pinch of kosher salt, flour, milk and water. blend this 
until nice and smooth and pour into a 2 cup measuring cup. the mixture 
just fits in the cup. cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate it. the 
batter needs to rest for at least 1/2 an hour. for the filling: in a 
large saute pan heat the olive oil over medium low heat. add onions 
and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until tender and 
golden. while the onions are cooking, mince the garlic with a little 
kosher salt. add the garlic when the onions are ready and cook for 
another minute. add the baby spinach and cook for a few minutes over 
medium heat. when the spinach is just wilted, spread the spinach onion 
mixture on a dinner plate to cool. heat a 10 inch nonstick pan over 
medium heat with a dab of butter. remove the manicotti batter from the 
fridge and stir briefly. when the pan is hot, add 1/4 cup of the 
batter. tilt the pan and make a very thin "pancake" that is as large 
as the bottom of the pan. cook for a little over a minute and then 
loosen with a heat resistant rubber spatula. using the spatula, flip 
the "pancake". cook the other side briefly and remove it to a wax 
paper lined dinner plate. add another dab of butter to the pan and add 
another 1/4 cup of batter. when this "pancake" is flipped, move the 
first "pancake" to another clean wax paper lined dinner plate. repeat 
this procedure, stacking the "pancakes" on top of each other on the 
second dinner plate. since they are cooked on both sides, they will 
not stick together. these "pancakes" or "crepes", are a little tricky 
and sometimes the very tender dough tears. they all come together when 
baked, though. you should have 10 manicotti wrappers. 
over a piece of wax paper, grate the mozzarella. put the shredded 
mozzarella into a 1 cup measuring cup. combine the mozzarella, locatelli 
and ricotta cheese in a large bowl. add the cooled spinach onion mixture, 
a few fresh gratings of nutmeg and the fresh parsley. also add some 
freshly ground black pepper, stir and taste for seasoning. preheat the 
oven to 375f. heat the prepared tomato sauce in a pan on the stove. coat 
the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with some tomato sauce. place a 
couple of large spoonfuls of the spinach cheese filling down the center of 
a manicotti wrapper and roll up. place them in the prepared baking dish 
and continue with the rest of the manicotti. try and divide the filling 
equally among the 10 wrappers. squeeze the filled manicotti into the 
baking pan and barely cover the top with some more tomato sauce. place the 
pan, uncovered, into the oven and bake for 30 minutes. remove the bubbling 
pan from the oven and after a couple of minutes carefully serve the 
manicotti with additional hot tomato sauce. 
(ID: 73574) Mirror: Sat, Aug 20, 2005

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