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Thread: GREAT tip for stuffing manicotti

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  1. #1
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    Cool GREAT tip for stuffing manicotti

    Oh wow, was I happy to read this tip:

    Make the manicotti filling, then pipe it into the manicotti noodle container, freeze, then stuff the cooked shell.

    Obviously it takes longer to freeze the filling than cook the noodles so give yourself a few hours. Man, those little fillings pop right out and slide so easily into the shell...one of those, " I can't believe I never thought of it" moments. But ohhhh, so glad I read it!

    Don't forget to Pam the container before filling.
    "It is no small thing that someone so fresh from God loves us."

    Charles Dickens

  2. #2
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    Talking This is maybe even easier...

    I ususally put filling in ziplock bag, and nip the one end of the bag and "inject" the fililng into manicotti. You can do it from both side to fill it evenly.

    Before I found out this, I tried to do it with spoon and sooo frustrated. Now I'm happy with this method.

    But, freezing the filling using the package is very interesting. Plus, you can be sure that filling is even in the every manicotti...


  3. #3
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    What a timely thread! My DD requested manicotti next week for dinner. I have always done the frustrating spoon filling method. I think I will try both of your ideas on the same day to see which works better for me.

    Thanks for the tips!

    Peggy

  4. #4
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    Good ideas. I've always stuffed it in with my fingers. I have a recipe that has you soak the manicotti in boiling water for a few mintues, the rinse with cold water, then stuff. The sauce softens the noddles the rest of the way as the meal bakes.
    Bakers have the best buns.
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  5. #5
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    Manicotti recipe

    Since we are on the topic, does anyone have a good cannelloni or manicotti recipe to share? I am planning to make one or the other tomorrow, but the recipes on Epicurious didn't strike me.

  6. #6
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    Goldie, I tend to free form my manicotti: homemade ricotta, handful of fresh parm, fresh herbs, an egg, and salt and pepper. Then I use my standard, slightly spicy, tomato sauce....

    Manicotti is definitely a great way to practice free-styling in the kichen. You really can't go wrong.

    My question: Does anyone else use crepes instead of pasta shells? Growing up outside of Boston, I was invited to many Italian celebrations. And every single "Nonna" that brought manicotti (there were many) made crepes and stuffed them with cheese filling. I was so disappointed in college (in the Midwest) when the cafeteria advertised manicotti, but served what I would call canneloni, big stuffed pasta tubes.

    Is this a shortcut? I have seen the tubes labeled "manicotti" in the store....but to me, manicotti is something totally different.

    Any Italian Americans with a definitive answer for me?

  7. #7
    Jen, I free-form manicotti and lasagna too. I've never used crepes but I'd like to give it a try. Do you have a good recipe?

    BTW. Shelley, thanks for sharing that tip! Can't wait to try it.

    Also, there's a manicotti recipe in the March issue of Bon Appetit that looks really good.

  8. #8
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    Yup!

    Jen's Neighbor's Grandmother's Manicotti Crepes:

    3 eggs
    1 cup water
    1 1/2 cups flour


    Whisk together agressively, let stand for about 15 minutes (to let battered gluten relax), form crepes in hot crepe pan. Do you need instructions for cooking crepes? Basically add about 1 Tablespoon batter, swirl quickly to cover the pan, then flip as edges dry. 10 seconds on the second side.


    Aren't my recipes useful? I wish I were better at explaining procedures, but most people tend to get my drift....

    Let me know if you need more details.

    Jen

  9. #9

    manicotti or canelloni?

    Where I grew up, outside of NYC in Mt. Vernon, manicotti were pasta tubes and canelloni were crepes filled with a cheese filling and topped with marinara. Smaller crepes were sometimes called crespelle.

  10. #10
    Thanks Jen!

    BTW. Your pizza crust recipe (the Dean and Deluca one) is now the only crust recipe I'll use. I've tried them all and keep going back.

  11. #11
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    There was a recipe posted recently that looked to die for called Cannelloni with spinach, goat cheese, walnuts and roasted garlic tomatsauce. I think mamasue posted it.
    Laurie

  12. #12
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    When I make Canneloni/Manicotti, I buy or make fresh pasta sheets, then cut them into squares and roll the filling up inside them like a little burrito, sauce them and bake! Once they are baked, they stick together and nobody ever would guess they weren't tubes to begin with!

    "There was a recipe posted recently that looked to die for called Cannelloni with spinach, goat cheese, walnuts and roasted garlic tomatsauce. I think mamasue posted it.
    Laurie"

    Laurie, I made that recipe, I think it was Lindrusso's originally??? It is very, very excellent.

    Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

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  13. #13
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    thanks browneye - I cant wait to try it. What section in the grocery store would I find pasta sheets. I have never heard of them. Are they fresh or dried?

  14. #14
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    Originally posted by jphilg
    My question: Does anyone else use crepes instead of pasta shells? Growing up outside of Boston, I was invited to many Italian celebrations. And every single "Nonna" that brought manicotti (there were many) made crepes and stuffed them with cheese filling. I was so disappointed in college (in the Midwest) when the cafeteria advertised manicotti, but served what I would call canneloni, big stuffed pasta tubes.
    Just caught this thread. All the Italian cookbooks I have refer to cannelloni as being the crepe-type shell, and manicotti being the pasta tube.
    "Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. We need to have the strength and power of a football player, the stamina of a marathon runner and the concentration of a brain surgeon. But, we need to put all this together while moving at high speeds on a cold and slippery surface while 5 other guys use clubs to try and kill us. Oh, yeah, did I mention that this whole time we're standing on blades 1/8 of an inch thick. Is ice hockey hard? I don't know, you tell me. Next question."

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by Laurielee
    thanks browneye - I cant wait to try it. What section in the grocery store would I find pasta sheets. I have never heard of them. Are they fresh or dried?
    I buy mine from one of two little Italian deli/take out places here. They are just refrigerated, wrapped in plastic. Otherwise I make them myself with my little pasta roller. (easy to do, btw).

    I don't think I have seen them in general grocery stores.
    Sorry, but hope that helps.
    Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

    - Phillipians 2

  16. #16
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    There was a thread a few weeks ago about CL Hearty Lasagna, and it was brought up that you can fill the manicotti noodles without cooking them (which should make it much easier). After filling them, the instructions were to cover COMPLETELY with sauce, cover the pan TIGHTLY with foil, and bake as usual. I haven't tried it yet, but a few other people posted replies that they had also had success with this method.
    kathyb


    Less rhetoric, more cowbell!

  17. #17
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    pasta sheets

    Our local Larry's Markets (an upscale supermarket here in the Seattle area) sells fresh pasta sheets, which they sell to use for lasagna, but they don't have the curly edges. They are in the deli case near the other fresh pastas, like tortellini, etc.

    I used them for cannelloni last night, but I was disappointed. Nothing wrong with the noodles themselves, they are quite good and I enjoy them in lasagna. Just not nice and tender like the crepes.

    Next time I'm going to do the crepes!

  18. #18

    Smile

    Thanks for the great tip on freezing the filling in the tray the manicotti comes in. I'll try it the next time.

  19. #19
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    Okay, here's a genuine Sicilian response from my Aunt (and backed by my Dad)...Manicotti and Cannelloni can be served with either meat or cheese (another word added to the end of the name determines which it is); however, typically Manicotti tends to be served with cheese and Cannelloni is served with Meat. The type of noodle has no bearing on the name, yet both are traditionally served using a tubular noodle.

    Now for information you probably don't want to know. In my families dialect, Manicotti means: Mani=Cooked and Cotti=Hands or (Cooked Hands...referring to the tubes looking like cooked fingers UUUGGGHHH!!!). She could not tell me the English translation for Cannelloni other than she thinks it means a Big Cannoli. I like Cannoli's better than Cannelloni, how about you?

    She also says she always makes either by using Crepes and not pasta. In her opinion it is much easier to make, lighter in flavor, and more sophisticated than pasta.

    Manja!!!!

    rmpress
    ---You only live once-but if you work it right, once is enough.---
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  20. #20
    Another option for stuffing (from Southern Living)would be cut the cooked manicotti shell and spoon the filling in the middle. Close the shell around the filling and place it in the dish seam down. I'm sure that when the manicotti is good, no one notices the seams

  21. #21
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    Just reporting back to say that I tried the ziplock bag trick and it worked! Very simple! I didn't have enought time to try the "freezing in the tray" method but I will remember that for another time. Thanks again for the tips!

    Peggy

  22. #22
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    Thumbs up yeah!

    Shoyski!
    I read this thread not too long ago and used your *WONDERFUL TIP* last night for my manicotti! I didn't even grease the little holders. I started to pipe it in and realized what a pain that is with spinach clumping up the bag and then decided to try your tip! I just shared it with my sister too!
    Thanks so much!
    Jeanne

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