Saturday, March 5

Manicotti di Allie

I've always wanted to have my own cooking show. I think it'd probably be the best job in the world (well, next to being an editor). But today, I learned that that will never be possible. As much as I love food, love to cook and love to bake, I discovered that I am, for lack of better words, a hot mess in the kitchen. I think it's because I really like to make up my own recipes, combining a few different recipes and throwing in a few ingredients of my own and unfortunately, this leads to a completely disasterous-looking stove top with cheese just about everywhere (including my hair). I also really hate cooking for only myself. There's something really depressing about slaving over the stove and putting your whole heart and soul into a dish, only to sit alone and talk to yourself about how good it is (not to toot my own horn or anything). So last night, I invited two of my good friends, Lauren and Kirsten, over to be my guests as I prepared quite the long-time-coming feast.
On the menu: manicotti di allie (hardeehar-har), garlic bread, sauteed garlic spinach (needless to say our breath was not the best) and cookie dough truffles for dessert.

manicotti di allie

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*Tip: Salt and pepper to taste throughout the cooking process!

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Ingredients
Ricotta Filling: 20 oz. whole milk ricotta  / 20 oz. part skim ricotta 
/ Spinach / Pinot Grigio / Garlic /Scallions
Cheesy Sauce: ½ cup heavy whipping cream / ¾ cup milk 
/ 2 cups parmesan / 2 cups mozzarella
Tomato Sauce: 2-32 oz. cans crushed tomatoes / Garlic
 / Basil / 1 small onion
Manicotti

Step One: Tomato Sauce:
Sautee diced onion and 2 cloves of garlic with olive oil in a deep pot. Once tender, add both cans of crushed tomatoes and basil. Cover and heat on low to medium low for one hour.

Step Two: Cheesy Sauce
On low heat, combine milk and whipping cream. Bring to a simmer and add 2 cups parmesan and 1 cup of mozzarella. Whisk until smooth. Add basil and set aside.

Step Three: Ricotta Filling
Sautee 1 bag of spinach and chopped scallions with two cloves of garlic (diced) and olive oil until wilted. Add ¼ cup of Pinot Grigio and cook until wine evaporates. Add all ricotta cheese and 1 cup of the cheesy sauce. Mix and set aside.

Step Four: Boil manicotti noodles for 5 minutes until they are al dente. Cool. Stuff manicotti with ricotta mixture. In a large, glass dish, cover bottom with tomato sauce. Put manicotti in dish and cover with more tomato sauce. Add the remaining cheesy sauce to the top and cover with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake on 350 degrees for 15 minutes covered and 15-20 minutes uncovered, until top is browned.

Step Five: FEAST

...but save room for zee truffles! nom nom nom nom nommmmm

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