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Manicotti with Sauce Bolognese | Hands On Gourmet

Serves 10 people

Ingredients

For the Crespelles

4 lg eggs
1 1/2 cups water
¼ cup milk
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter

For the Filling

2 ½ pounds fresh ricotta cheese
½ pound fresh mozzarella cheese, grated
¼ cup parmesan, grated
2 large eggs
¼ cup parsley, chopped
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ bunch basil, chiffonade

For the Bolognese

3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ pound pancetta, diced
¼ cup onions, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup celery, brunoise
¼ cup carrot brunoise
1 ½ pound ground beef
½ cup beef stock
3 tablespoons dry white wine
2 cups tomato concasse( or canned tomatoes)
4 sprigs thyme (leaves and stems separated)
¼ cup cream
½ cup milk
½ of an onion studded with two whole cloves

Special Equipment

Baking casserole dishes
Crepe pans
Large sauce pot and 1medium sauce pot
Pastry bags

Instructions

For the Crespelles

Sift flour and salt into a bowl make a well and add eggs, milk and water and stir flour into well slowly until all is combined. Strain.
Brush non stick pan with butter over a med heat.
Ladle batter into pan to coat bottom and cook until set and underside is lightly browned.

For the Filling

Simply combine all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.  Season to taste and fill pastry bag.

For the Bolognese

Heat the milk and cream with the thyme stems and clove spiked onion in a medium sauce pan. Scald the milk and remove from heat. Leave to steep.

In another large sauce pot, heat the olive oil and then brown the ground beef over medium heat. Remove the ground beef and set aside. Reserve some of the oil and fat from the beef and cook the pancetta until the fat is rendered and the meat begins to brown. Add the onions, garlic, celery, and carrots and sweat until the onions become translucent. Turn up heat to high and when the vegetables start to brown (about 2 – 3 minutes after turning up heat) add the white wine. Lower heat to medium high, add the beef stock and reduce the liquid by half (about 4-5 minutes). Add the tomatoes and thyme leaves and simmer for 20 minutes over med low heat.

Strain the milk into the tomato meat sauce and season to taste.

Assembly

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread some sauce on the bottom of the casserole dishes. On a clean work surface, lay out the crespelles and pipe a line of filling down the middle. Roll them up to form manicottis and arrange side by side in the casserole dishes on the sauce. Cover with sauce and top with more grated parmesan. Bake until sauce boils and cheese melts.

To Serve

Set pans on table and allow guests to serve themselves family style with spatula. Offer guests fresh grated parmesan and fresh cracked black pepper.

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