Sunday, January 10, 2010

Manicotti, Ricotta Fritters and Cannoli

Today I wanted to make all-Italian dinner and desserts Manicotti is something that I've made often, it's simple but can get kinda messy!

What you need:

Manicotti shells
15oz Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 jar of spaghetti sauce (or homemade spaghetti sauce)

Start by boiling a pot of water, add the manicotti shells and cook them until they are soft.
While the shells are cooking mix together the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, and seasonings.
When the shells are soft, carefully pull them out - don't burn yourself! Stuff the shells with the cheese mixture, put them in a casserole dish and pour spaghetti sauce to cover them completely.

If you want to you can sprinkle a little mozzarella on top, then place in the oven at 350ยบ for 25 minutes (or until cheese is melted).

I love cooked ricotta cheese, so I tend to put more of it in. My husband on the other hand is a huge fan of Parmesan cheese, so he tends to put more of that in - you can adjust to your liking, but ricotta is the base cheese and makes for an easier time eating.

Ricotta Fritters

Now, I have never had a ricotta fritter before, and really had no idea what I was doing or if it turned out how it was supposed to, but either way they were yummy and everyone loved them!

I got the original recipe from the Food Network

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 pound ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Oil, for frying
  • Powdered sugar
  • Chestnut honey

Mix eggs and sugar together. Add ricotta and vanilla. In a separate bowl sift together all- purpose flour, cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to egg mixture. Beat until smooth. Fill a pot or deep-fryer half full with oil. Heat until oil gets to 350 degrees F. (Medium-High) Drop dough into hot oil by the tablespoonful. Fry until golden brown. Remove from oil, and drain on a paper towel. Dust with powdered sugar, drizzle with warm chestnut honey, and serve immediately.

Now, I know this says I will share a recipe for Cannoli, but I have to admit, I failed miserably when trying to make cannoli. I couldn't figure out how it was supposed to work. It was runny and sloppy and I just couldn't get it right - I spent over 2 hours working on it, when I finally threw it in the trash I realized "I bet I had to whip it." Which none of the directions specify but it wouldn't make sense otherwise.

So, any Italian viewers, if you have a recipe or techniques on how to make cannoli please let me know!


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