Since I tried my hand at making baked manicotti last year, it's become pretty regular fare at our house. Depending on what I have on hand will determine it's filling. I had some butternut squash that I wanted to use up, so along with these light and tender manicotti shells that are made cooking a batter to form a pasta like crepe, this was a delicious and easy meal to prepare. As I made my crepes I roasted the squash, so it was ready just about the time my crepes had cooled. Before I assembled the manicotti I popped all the ingredients into the Cuisinart and gave it a couple of pulses to combine it well. I decided to top my manicotti with marina sauce, but you could also drizzle with sage butter sauce over assembled manicotti as well and bake.
1 butternut squash, diced and roasted with olive oil, rosemary, sage, savory and
3 Italian sausage, cooked -casings removed
1/4 cup shallots, diced
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 tsp nutmeg
18 oz ricotta cheese
fresh sage leaves
sea salt, ground pepper
Peel and dice butternut squash into cubes. Place on parchment or foiled lined cooking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and herbs. Roast for 30-40 minutes until squash is carmelized and just tender.
In the meantime, as the squash roasts, sautee Italian sausage meat with garlic, shallots, sea salt & ground pepper.
Prepare your filling.
-18 oz Ricotta cheese
-4 oz mozzarella cheese
-handful of freshly grated parmesan cheese
-10 fresh sage leaves, diced
When the squash is finished roasting, combine the squash, sausage mixture, ricotta cheese filling, nutmeg in your food processor. Pulse until just creamy.
Make your crepes.
*Homemade Crepes for Manicotti. Recipe by my friend Maryann at Finding La Dolce Vita
-1 C flour
-1 C milk
-pinch of salt
-tsp ground sage leaves
Beat together all ingredients. Make one crepe at a time, pouring the batter into a hot crepe pan using a shot glass as a measurement.
Move the pan around to form a nice thin crepe. Turn only once, then cool on a floured towel. When the crepes are cool you can fill them with your cheese, squash and sausage mixture.. top with marinara and plenty of shredded mozzarella cheese and bake for 40 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Enjoy!