Manicotti, a classic Italian American dish, is a rolled pasta that is filled with cheese. It’s very similar to stuffed shells, or even lasagne. The traditional way to make them is using crepes, or you can use store bought shells to save time, but I like to making the shells using my homemade pasta.
- 2 Cups Flour
- 2 Eggs
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- 1 T Olive Oil
- 1 Pound Ground turkey 85/15
- 8 Oz. Cottage Cheese
- 2 Cups Mozzarella
- 4 Cloves Garlic
- ½ T Oregano
- ½ T Parsley
- 1 T Basil
- ¼ T Red Pepper flakes
- ½ T Salt
- 2 Cups Marinara
- ½ TB Tomato paste
- Mound the flour on the counter and then create a well in the center of the mound (my daughter calls it a volcano, whichever, maybe wel-cano). Crack eggs into the well, then add the olive oil and water. With a fork, mix the liquids and start incorporating some of the flour. Try to do a little flour at a time so that it doesn't mix too fast, which can cause it to turn into a lump of dry, hard dough. And make sure you get the dough that's starting to stick to the counter. Mix until it comes together into a ball, and does not stick to your hands.
- Knead the dough, adding flour to the surface as needed. Knead for a few minutes.,
- Place dough in a bowl and cover with the 1 TB of olive oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for an hour (at least half an hour).
- In a medium pan over medium heat, add 1 T of olive oil. Add ground turkey and cook until no longer pink. About 8 - 10 minutes.
- In a bowl, mix the cottage cheese, mozzarella, cooked turkey meat, tomato paste, oregano, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Bring large pot of water to a boil.
- Take the dough from the bowl where it's been resting and break it into four separate pieces.
- Flour your work surface liberally to make sure that the dough doesn't stick. We're going to be adding a lot of flour because the worst thing you could do is have your dough stick to the countertop.
- Rub flour over your rolling pin so it doesn't stick to the dough. Roll the dough into a square.
- Flour the dough, flip it over, then flour the top of the dough. Roll the square out, pressing from the inside out.
- Flour, flip, flour. Roll again. Really press down on the dough to thin it out as much as possible. Your should continue until very thin, but you want to stop before it begins to tear.
- Cut the pasta into rectangles that measure about 8 inches wide by 10 inches long.
- Add pasta rectangles to the water and boil for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Transfer the cooked pasta to a large platter with a slotted spoon. Make sure you try to unravel the rectangles, they’re going to want to fold (if they didn’t already do that in the water.) Let them cool slightly.
- In a large baking dish, such as a lasagna tray, spread a very thin amount of marinara on the bottom. This will help prevent your manicotti from sticking. you can also use long individual serving dishes, similar to the one I have in the picture if you prefer.
- To assemble the manicotti, lay a pasta rectangle flat and fill with beef mixture. Then roll the pasta into a log. Place each manicotti in the baking dish. Continue making your manicotti until your lasagna tray is filled.
- Cover manicotti with a little bit of sauce and then sprinkle on a little bit of mozzarella cheese. Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes until the cheese melts. If you want your cheese a little brown turn on the broiler and let cook for an additional 6 minutes or until the appropriate Char is achieved.
- That's it! Enjoy!