I could almost hear our fearless leader Christianna giggling as she sent out this months recipe swap, I truly believe that she thought she had us stumped! Actually I have to admit that some of my best posts have come out of our swap. If you’re not familiar with our Vintage Recipe Swap, it was the brain child of my friend Chrisitanna of Burwell General Store. I have been lucky enough to be part of this group for a little over a year, we’re on our second cookbook The Second Ford Treasury of Favorite Recipes from Favorite Eating Places first published in 1954. This month’s recipe comes from the Toklat Wilderness Lodge in Ashcroft, Colorado.
I have to admit when I read this recipe I started laughing out loud, thinking of Ham Snails and I actually came up with a few different ideas, but that of course was a month ago when Christianna sent it out to us. Today when I opened again, well that was a different story. I had a few ideas, and then looked to see what I had on hand to work with, and didn’t have to think to long to come up with home made Manicotti. The idea of the swap is to change at least 3 of the ingredients, making the recipe your own, while trying to stay somewhat true to the original. Let’s say we do have a lot of latitude in the process! But when you stop and think about it, you can make sense out of what I did finally create for our swap. My entry is rolled and does have a filling, that might be where the similarity stops, but this is how we have fun with our recipe recipe, some may be a little left of the original idea but they’re certainly always tasty!
I do try to make most of what I use from scratch, but there are certain items that are just too good and are too much of a time saver to pass up. Now I’m not saying that I would never make my own fresh pasta sheets, but when you can get really good quality fresh pasta sheets, it’s almost a duh moment not to use them. To be honest with you, I don’t even remember why I originally bought them a few weeks ago, but there they were!
There are certain items I try to always have on hand and ricotta is one of them, so luckily I had everything I needed to make my manicotti. Using the pasta sheets, they were incredibly easy to make, and so much better than even the best homemade I have bought in specialty stores. So if you haven’t tried making them, you really need to, if you feel so inclined you could make your own ravioli out of the pasta sheets too!
- 32 oz ricotta cheese
- ½ cup grated romano cheese
- 2 large eggs - lightly beaten
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tbsp Italian parsley - finely chopped
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 package fresh pasta sheets (6 sheets)
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- preheat oven to 350
- In a mixing bowl add the all of the ingredients for the filling (reserving half of the shredded mozzarella to use as a topping) mix well until fully blended.
- cut each pasta sheet in half to make to (aprox) 6x6 inch squares
- place 2 or 3 spoonfuls of the ricotta mixture at one end of the square and roll it into a log (wet the end of the sheet with water to help seal it)*
- add a little marinara to the bottom of the baking dish you are using
- place each log with the seam side down in a baking dish and repeat until you have used all the pasta sheets and ricotta. I made 12 from this mix
- after you placed all the manicotti in your baking dish, cover with marinara and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and top with shredded mozzarella and bake for 5 more minutes or until cheese is bubbly.
- Allow manicotti to rest for 5 minutes before serving so the cheese has a chance to set up well.
- Serve with a tossed salad and garlic bread and enjoy!
Here is the marinara sauce recipe I have been using for twenty some years if you would like to try making it.
Thanks so much for stopping by, and be sure to check out the links at the bottom of the page to see all of the great swap recipes this month, I know you’ll have fun reading them!