Sicilian Parsley Manicotti

IMG_1933“I have bread, water, and love—what more can a man ask for? How about pasta, wine, and sex.”
Jarod Kintz, The Titanic would never have sunk if it were made out of a sink.

Well well, hope you are in the mood for something delicious.

Like many who have a mixed blood, my husband is no different. He has a weakness for pasta, the sicilian blood in him I guess.

So, in his honor, I decided to post this recipe, his recipe.

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We like to buy the manicotti shells, among other things, in Coluccio’s, an Italian store in Brooklyn.

It is small, cozy. But best of all is the smell. Chestnuts, prosciutto and cheese. It may not sound very good as well, but really it’s great.

Anyway, sorry… I feel I’m getting out of track…

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This is, definitely, a delicious dish with different textures and full of flavor. Hot, so it is perfect for those cold nights, when you want to make your kitchen a rather more cozy place.

So, get the apron, clear your mind, turn up the volume of the music and get ready to start.

::SICILIAN PARSLEY MANICOTTI::

1 pound fresh parsley, stems trimmed and well washed

Kosher salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon

12 manicotti shells

3 cups tomato sauce (recipe follows)

1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese (about 1 pound)

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

Freshly ground pepper

::TOMATO SAUCE::

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 28-ounce can whole, peeled, canned tomatoes

1 tablespoon dried oregano

Fresh basil

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat, and season generously with salt. In the same large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta shells until al dente, tender but still slightly firm. Drain and pat dry.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cover the bottom of a 9- x 13-inch ovenproof baking dish with 1 cup of the tomato sauce. In a medium mixing bowl, evenly combine the ricotta, mozzarella, and 1/3 cup of the Parmesan, the eggs, and the parsley. Season with the 1/2 teaspoon salt, nutmeg, and pepper to taste. Spoon the cheese mixture into the manicotti shell and line them up in the baking dish. Cover with the remaining sauce, scatter the remaining cheese on top and cover with foil paper. Bake for 30 minutes and remove the foil. Bake for another 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Tomato Sauce

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion and garlic, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and the oregano and basil, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

Remove and stir in the salt and season with pepper to taste.

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