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Manicotti - Crepe Or Pasta??

Unkle Al May 16, 2013 07:26 AM

Do you find that the crepe method gives as clean a “bite” as the pasta method?

Which are more conducive to freezing?

Do you have any tips for making either method?

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  1. r
    rasputina RE: Unkle Al May 16, 2013 07:28 AM

    I've never heard of the crepe method for manicotti. I have for canneloni though.

    3 Replies
    1. re: rasputina
      coll RE: rasputina May 16, 2013 07:30 AM

      Now, cannelloni, I make a pasta that is as thin as a crepe. But it is definitely pasta, rolled out, not fried batter in a crepe pan.

      1. re: rasputina
        rasputina RE: rasputina May 17, 2013 11:16 AM

        I was brain dead the other day and got them mixed up. Don't know what I was thinking lol.

        1. re: rasputina
          coll RE: rasputina May 17, 2013 11:20 AM

          Not hard to do, they are so very similar. Like real cousins vs kissing cousins!

      2. coll RE: Unkle Al May 16, 2013 07:29 AM

        Crepe, I can't imagine using pasta myself. I know upscale caterers that use Ronzoni manicotti shells, but no thanks! If you're looking for "bite" though, maybe you'd like to go that route.

        My recipe makes about 16 so there's never enough leftover to freeze, so can't say about that. Wait, I think I HAVE frozen, but it's sort of delicate in that respect. OK if it's just you eating it.

        I use the good ol' Pollio recipe from the 1970s, like most around here do.

        1. n
          NaeShelle RE: Unkle Al May 16, 2013 07:41 AM

          I, for one, prefer the shells, but, only for convenience. If I have the time, the crepe method is nice, but, as inexperienced as I am with it (with crepes in general - the one food I never bothered learning to prefect), sometimes it's just not worth the bother.
          As for freezing, I have relative success with both. The shells hold better but the crepes have the best taste & texture when reheated.

          1. pegasis0066 RE: Unkle Al May 16, 2013 08:03 AM

            Screw manicotti, make this instead - http://spinachtiger.com/cooking-italy...

            3 Replies
            1. re: pegasis0066
              pdxgastro RE: pegasis0066 May 17, 2013 12:25 AM

              Sounds good but that photo is atrocious. Not the lighting, but the wedges(?) and them sitting on the edge of a bowl(?). Question marks because it's confusing. What's wrong with putting a slice on a plate and calling it good?

              1. re: pdxgastro
                coll RE: pdxgastro May 17, 2013 07:47 AM

                I assume this is some kind of fried version? But hard to tell.

              2. re: pegasis0066
                monavano RE: pegasis0066 May 20, 2014 08:53 AM

                I love this:

                For the Tomato Sauce


                2/3 cup canned Italian tomatoes (I used fresh tomatoes)

              3. u
                Unkle Al RE: Unkle Al May 16, 2013 08:12 AM

                Just to clarify, I would be making the pasta rolled very thinly, myself. The commercial shells would not be an option, they are too thick. I would be boiling them and then stuffing them.

                My fear is that the crepe / crespelle, regardless of how thin they are, would be more doughy than the boiled pasta style.

                However, for me, the crepe / crespelle will be much easier.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Unkle Al
                  roxlet RE: Unkle Al May 16, 2013 09:42 AM

                  I make crespelle, and they are never doughy. Much lighter and airier than the pasta version, however I have never frozen them. They're almost ethereally light.

                  1. re: roxlet
                    escondido123 RE: roxlet May 16, 2013 02:45 PM

                    I agree. And if you put them in the oven for awhile, they will even puff a little. (The best I ever had was in Rome. It was filled with Gorgonzola, topped with a Parmigiano bechamel and then broiled until golden. Amazing.)

                    1. re: escondido123
                      roxlet RE: escondido123 May 16, 2013 06:47 PM

                      That does sound fabulous!

                  2. re: Unkle Al
                    EM23 RE: Unkle Al May 16, 2013 12:04 PM

                    Pegasis has linked to a Marcella Hazan recipe above made with crespelle. I have made her crespelle many times - they are delicate and I much prefer them to pasta manicotti. I usually make them with her Bolognese and bechamel.

                    1. re: Unkle Al
                      ChefJune RE: Unkle Al May 16, 2013 01:10 PM

                      I prefer the crepes for Manicotti. I don't find them doughy at all.

                      1. re: Unkle Al
                        Terrie H. RE: Unkle Al May 17, 2013 06:26 AM

                        I've made canneloni with the crepes a few times and have filled and frozen them uncooked and they come out great. FWIW, this has always been with a mushroom/bechamel filling.

                      2. h
                        HillJ RE: Unkle Al May 16, 2013 12:20 PM

                        My MIL loved the crepe method. She would create the batter the day before, make the crepes in the morning and feed her family the same day.

                        If she was creating manicotti for a large crowd, maybe several trays for a party she would use pasta in order to have the bite others preferred, the freezing option and the leftovers for days.

                        The crepes are wonderful but delicate.

                        1. eLizard RE: Unkle Al May 16, 2013 12:25 PM

                          crepe. definitely.....

                          1. h
                            HillJ RE: Unkle Al May 16, 2013 06:52 PM


                            I found the version my dear MIL made. Enjoy the music!

                            13 Replies
                            1. re: HillJ
                              Berheenia RE: HillJ May 17, 2013 05:21 AM

                              What a great site! Thanks!

                              1. re: Berheenia
                                HillJ RE: Berheenia May 17, 2013 05:54 AM

                                My pleasure, Berh!

                              2. re: HillJ
                                Berheenia RE: HillJ May 17, 2013 06:03 AM

                                I fell for a recipe in a high end Italian Cooking Magazine that used no boil lasagna sheets for the pasta. I had some extra Del Verde sheets which make a delicate lasagna so I thought I'd give it a shot. Inedible gummy chewy awful. Now I stick with the ready made Ronzoni or Prince shells. Maybe I'll give the crepe method a shot. The last time I made crepes was ages ago but the Julia recipe with Wondra flour was easy peasy

                                1. re: Berheenia
                                  HillJ RE: Berheenia May 17, 2013 06:58 AM

                                  Yeah..I'm not a fan of the no boil pasta. Crepes are a completely diff pasta experience, right?! The first time I had them was in my MIL's kitchen. I kept thinking french crepe in my mind and when the Sunday gravy hit my tongue I had a brain freeze of momentary confusion. But I got over it very quickly and looked forward to the dinners where these were served.

                                  1. re: HillJ
                                    coll RE: HillJ May 17, 2013 07:50 AM

                                    I have two go-to recipes for when I want to impress, Italian style. Cannelloni if I want to spend hours in the kitchen, and manicotti made with crepes when I don't have the time. Hard to say which goes over better with guests.

                                    1. re: coll
                                      HillJ RE: coll May 17, 2013 09:14 AM

                                      Yum! Both would make me a happy lady!!

                                      1. re: HillJ
                                        coll RE: HillJ May 17, 2013 09:52 AM

                                        Well if you're ever out on eastern LI let me know!!

                                        1. re: coll
                                          HillJ RE: coll May 17, 2013 10:46 AM

                                          What a lovely invite!

                                          1. re: HillJ
                                            coll RE: HillJ May 17, 2013 11:23 AM

                                            Maybe I'll make both and we can do a comparison......

                                            1. re: coll
                                              HillJ RE: coll May 17, 2013 11:26 AM

                                              Should I bring wine, sparkling water or both?

                                              1. re: HillJ
                                                coll RE: HillJ May 17, 2013 12:12 PM

                                                Nah we can do a tour of the vineyards, instead, and come home to an Italian dinner! There are several that specialize in Italian style wines. Feel free to PM me, anytime.

                                                1. re: coll
                                                  HillJ RE: coll May 17, 2013 12:33 PM

                                                  Oh my...you know how to win a gal over, don't cha!
                                                  Thank you!

                                  2. re: Berheenia
                                    escondido123 RE: Berheenia May 17, 2013 11:14 AM

                                    I throw everything in the blender and let it rip--batter always comes out perfect using plain old flour.

                                2. b
                                  bob96 RE: Unkle Al May 17, 2013 09:42 AM

                                  My aunt always made manicotti with a basic crepe-like batter poured frugally into a 6 inch skillet, not browned much at all; they came out light, thin, defined in texture, and elegant. Folded like a handkerchief over simple ricotta and herb filling, and topped (not drowned) with her salsa di pomodoro and a sprinkle of grated pecorino (no mozzarella), they took maybe 10 minutes in a medium oven to heat through and blend the filling. Each remained separate, not swimming in a lake of sauce and cheese. They were blissful.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: bob96
                                    escondido123 RE: bob96 May 17, 2013 11:16 AM

                                    I love the fold. Where is the filling put before folding, one quarter only, half or all over? Want to try this next time. Thanks.

                                    1. re: escondido123
                                      bob96 RE: escondido123 May 17, 2013 01:40 PM

                                      Take about 2 tablespoons of filling and place it as a dollop in the center of the circle. Then, fold both sides over so they just touch and slightly overlap, forming a kind of soft rectangle=oval, with the filling just showing. Top lightly with sauce, maybe some extra grated cheese, and bake.

                                  2. m
                                    mvondra RE: Unkle Al May 19, 2014 09:18 PM

                                    Original recipe makes 4 servings, Change Servings...

                                    2 cups all-purpose flour
                                    2 cups water
                                    6 eggs
                                    1/4 teaspoon salt

                                    Directions: Make sure sure the filling is done first...

                                    Mix together: flour, water, eggs and salt to make a thin, smooth batter. Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto lightly greased griddle. Cook until top forms film. Flip. Take off heat and roll.

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