Wednesday, May 22, 2013

susan's manicotti

I try and keep up with the daily posts Everyday Food is sharing on their blog. It's not the same as having the monthly digest delivered to your door, but it's still a way of feeling a part of the Everyday Food kitchen experience. I'm so glad Sarah Carey is the face of Everyday Food. She's super likeable and so entertaining on their video segments. I must look kinda crazy laughing out loud as I watch them over the ipad. Anyways, I can remember seeing an episode of the Martha Stewart show (years ago, when us Canadians had access to it) and Sarah's father appeared on the show because he was an illustrator of some of the famous Woodstock artwork! How cool is that?! Growing up in Woodstock must have been an amazing experience. When I saw she shared her mother Susan's Manicotti recipe I was intrigued, so I decided to give it a whirl.

What is is about moms and manicotti anyways? Was it big in the 80's because my mom made it quite often and made a point of letting us know it was special because of all the work that went into it. She spent ages spooning the filling into each shell which always looked so painstaking. Then I remember she began using a cookie press to fill the manicotti and it became a whole lot less of a chore for her. So that's exactly what we used to fill ours. Works like a charm!
My only issue with manicotti is how easily the tubes tear. They are a very thick pasta, which I assume gives it structure to prevent tearing, but even cooked to al dente I still managed to tear a couple. Luckily, this baked pasta hardly shows the tears if they only creep up an inch or two, so no worries.
As far as flavour we all really enjoyed it. We both agreed that we'd eliminate some (or all) of the sugar in the filling. We also would use a roasted garlic marinara sauce to give a little bit more of a flavour to the entire dish. But what we loved about the filling was how firm yet tender the final dinner was. It sliced beautifully and wasn't messy at all.

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