I can't remember the last time I had manicotti made with the boxed macaroni you buy at the grocery store. It is most likely because once you try this, you will never go back to the thick tubes that you try to fill from both ends to make sure there is cheese in the middle. I know that the thought of crepes scares some people, but once you get past the first two, it just rolls along.
For the crepes
9 eggs - room temperature
2 1/4 c flour
2 1/4 c water
2 tsp salt
For the filling
3 lbs Ricotta
1 bunch of fresh mint finely chopped
salt and pepper
3 quarts of your favorite homemade sauce
Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Mix with a hand mixer until smooth. Let mixture stand for 1/2 hour.
Heat an 8" skillet over medium high heat. Brush the skillet with butter. Pour 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons of the batter into the pan and rotate the batter around the pan. Cook until the top is dry to touch, be sure the bottom does not brown. If it browns then your heat is too high.
You can place them offset on top of each other. They will not stick together. If you are making the crepes a day ahead of time them put plastic wrap between each crepe.
Put the ricotta cheese into a large mixing bowl. Break the eggs into a separate bowl and whisk them up and add to the ricotta cheese. Stir gently then add the chopped mint, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.
Putting them together:
Take a crepe and put about 1/3 cup of filling on one end. Roll it over once and then pull the other end up over the top. If you like your manicotti with more cheese, then add more filling, add as much or as little as you like for the filling.
In a large baking dish, put some of your favorite homemade sauce on the bottom. Enough to cover the bottom. Place your manicotti into the baking dish. Pour just a little sauce on top, you do not want them swimming. Cover with tinfoil.
Bake in 350° oven for about 55 minutes until bubbly.
These are best enjoyed surrounded by loved ones :)