Last night’s dinner was a visit to Italy. I made four cheese manicotti topped with a sauce from my garden tomatoes and a Caprese Salad with some local Heirloom tomatoes. It really is pretty simple. First start off with a basic sugo, a tomato sauce that you have made ahead, great for using leftover sauce. You can even use a good quality canned sauce if you wish.Manicotti
· 1 cup mascarpone cheese
· 1 cup finely grated parmesan
· 1 cup grated mozzarella
· 2 cups fresh ricotta
· 1 egg
· Zest from a large lemon, preferably a Meyer Lemon
· LOTS of freshly ground black pepper, at least a tablespoon
· A pinch of crushed red pepper
· ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian Parsley
· Pinch of salt
Mix together in a food processor and then put into a pastry bag.
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
Boil manicotti till al dente. Strain and rinse in cold water till cool enough to touch.
Holding a manicotti tube, insert the pastry bag as far into the tube as you can without tearing the bag. Fill, making sure there are no gaps. Turn to the other side and fill it.
Lay each filled pasta on a pool of sauce in a 9 X 9 pan (this makes two pans full, one for tonight and one for tomorrow, or you can do it all in a larger pan) until the pan is full. Repeat with second pan. Place the pans in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.
I served it with a caprese salad with garden fresh heirloom tomoatoes and garlic bread.
For more of my Italian favorites made in Hawaii... check out these links: