Christmas Eve for me just wouldn’t be complete without a hearty serving of manicotti and a teary viewing of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I love Capra’s mushy masterpiece and can now proudly recite large portions of it by heart. Still, there are a few things about it that really bother me. 1) I hate that song “Buffalo Gals.” 2) I know it’s about the season of peace and joy, but I would like to punch that Mr. Potter right in the schnoz, and that moron Uncle Billy too. And while I’m at it, that ingrate brother Harry who took his sweet time coming home. And 3), there’s that whole scene when George sees what Bedford Falls would be like if he had never existed. I simply don’t buy it.
Alas, as irritating as it is, I will watch and weep again this year and remember that no matter how tough life gets, “No man is a failure who has friends,” which makes me “the richest man in town.” Fade to Auld Lang Syne… Hugs to wifey and Zuzu. A bell rings, and an angel gets its wings.
p.s. Check out our wine pairings to complement this dish.
Sunday Pasta® Recipe: Manicotti con Salsa di Pomodoro
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 makes about 12 manicotti 1x
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 28 ounce can peeled plum tomatoes, puréed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4–5 basil leaves, chopped
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 large eggs
- 1 pound whole milk ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano plus more for serving
- 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion in the olive oil until golden. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and basil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until the sauce has reduced.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, milk, water and 1 egg together until smooth.
- Place a large skillet or griddle over low heat. Use butter to grease the surface. Pour 1/8 cup batter onto the hot surface. Let the batter to cook through, but not turn golden. Use a spatula to remove and set aside. Re-grease the surface and repeat until all the batter is used. Ideally, the mixture will yield 12 sheets of pasta, 3×5 or 4×6 inches wide. (Note: if using a skillet, they can be round in shape.)
- In a large bowl, add the ricotta, Parmigiano cheese, remaining egg, parsley and salt. Mix together until creamy.
- Carefully fill the center of each pasta sheet with 2 heaping tablespoons of the ricotta mixture. Fold one side over the other to make to enclose. Line them up in an oiled baking dish. Cover loosely with foil and bake at 350º F. for 30 minutes, until the sides are bubbling.
- Serve immediately with a spoonful of tomato sauce and grated Parmigiano.