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Crepes, Manicotti-Style (D, TNT)
Serves: 10 to 12

1-1/4 cups water
5 large eggs
1-1/4 cups all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon melted butter or margarine, cooled
Additional melted butter, margarine, or vegetable spray, as needed to make crepes

1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 to 2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 28-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, with liquid
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
2-1/4 teaspoons sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons oregano
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper

2 pounds ricotta cheese, regular or low fat
1/2 pound mozzarella cheese, diced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
Freshly ground pepper

Make Crepes:
Place the water, eggs, flour, salt, and melted butter in a blender or processor and process until smooth.

Heat a 7" or 8" crepe pan over medium heat for a few minutes, then brush with a little melted butter or vegetable spray. Pour in just enough crepe batter to cover the bottom of the pan.

Cook the crepe until it is "dry" on top and barely light brown on the bottom.

Turn the crepe over and cook about 10 to 20 seconds.

Remove crepe to a large plate and repeat the process until all the batter is used.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Make Sauce:
Prepare sauce by heating the olive oil in a large skillet and sautéing the onions and garlic.

Add all the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered for an hour.

Make Filling and Assembly:
In a large bowl combine the ricotta, mozzarella, and 1/3 cup parmesan cheeses (The rest is for topping). Add the parsley, salt and pepper, and mix well.

Pour some of the sauce into the bottom of a large shallow baking dish. Place about 2 tablespoons of the cheese filling in the center of each crepe. Fold crepe in thirds and place it seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat until all crepes and filling is used. Cover the crepes with the remaining sauce, and sprinkle on the remaining parmesan cheese.

The dish can be assembled in advance to this point and frozen or refrigerated until needed.

Bake the crepes, uncovered, at 350°F for 30 minutes.

Remove the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

If baking manicotti directly from the freezer, bake at 350°F for an hour or until thoroughly heated.

Poster's Notes:
This sauce can be used in any recipe calling for a marinara sauce, and it freezes well.

Crepes can be frozen in a stack, but a sheet of waxed paper must be placed in between each crepe.

The crepes transform this into a light, delicate main course. Can be made ahead and frozen. The tomato sauce can be made, frozen and used on any pasta, fish, or chicken.

Posted by Sheilah Kaufman

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A