Thursday, December 27, 2007

Manicotti Lineup | ATK

I don't understand why I am not on the payroll at America's Test Kitchen, considering I snub all recipes that do not come from them, own almost all of their books, can't say enough good things about them, and gave almost all living and breathing members of my family one of their cookbooks for Christmas, which will no doubt make them yearn for more. Why Why Why. Well, probably because they don't need me, have no clue I only live a mere two train stops from their test kitchen, think I'm a stalker. I don't know, but Test Kitchen if your listening and you need cookbook reviewers, or you have extra books lying around that are collecting dust you can reach me through this blog. Me, JB at your service. Will work for food.

Seriously though, it was a veritable America's Test Kitchen love fest at my house this Christmas. For dinner I made multiple ATK dishes and then after everyone ate them and asked for the recipes, they all got their own books, which allowed me to say - "Now go make your own damn food and get out of my house." No really I only said that to CB's I kidding...what do you think? Huh?

One thing that I am absolutely loving about cooking lately is I've been making a lot of dishes that require multiple steps, or better put, dishes that are just easier if you have another pair of hands in the kitchen. This has forced CB to schlep into the kitchen and help me everyime I scream, "I could use a little help in here...maybe you could pause Sports Center for a few minutes and come help a girl out."

Really though, it's been really wonderful working in the kitchen with CB, the picture above shows the assembly line for the manicotti, and CB starting to roll them up. The work went by fast and I think we enjoyed the dinner even more because we made it together...Barf, just kidding, it tasted great because it came from ATK, not so much because of the togetherness and whatnot, that's total crap.

Stuffed Manicotti ATK
2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 medium garlic cloves minced
pinch red pepper flakes
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
ground black pepper
24 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese (about 3 cups)
4 ounces Parmesan cheese grated (about 2 cups)
10 ounces whole milk mozzarella cheese shredded (about 2 1/2cups)
2 large eggs lightly beaten
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley leaves
16 no boil flat lasagna noodles

1. Pulse the tomatoes with their juices one can at a time, in a food processor until coarsely chopped with pieces measuring about 1/4 inch, about 3 pulses, set aside.

2. Heat the oil, garlic and pepper flakes in a large saucepan over medium heat until fragrant but not brown, 1-2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and 1/2 tsp salt, and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the basil, season with salt and pepper; set aside.

3. Stir the ricotta, 1 cup of the Parmesan, 2 cups of the mozzarella, eggs, parsley, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper together; set aside.

4. Pour 1 inch of boiling water into a 13 by 9 inch baking dish and slip the noodles into the water, 1 at a time. Let the noodles soak until pliable, about 5 minutes, separating the noodles with the tip of a knife to prevent sticking. Remove the noodles from the water and place in a single layer over clean kitchen towels. Discard the water in the baking dish and pat it dry.

5. Spread 1 1/2 cups of the sauce over the bottom of the baking dish. Use a soup spoon to spread 1/4 cup of the ricotta cheese mixture evenly over the bottom three-quarters of each noodle. Roll the noodles up around the filling, and lay seam side down in the baking dish. Spoon the remaining sauce evenly over the noodles, covering the pasta completely. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and mozzarella.

6. Cover with foil sprayed with non stick spray and bake in a 400 degree oven until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted, about 30-40 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese is browned in spots 25-30 minutes.

Rating = So God Damn Good


Anonymous said...

Yum. If you are not on the Cooks Illustrated email list -- I would suggest signing up. I get an email (maybe a few times a year) --the last one right before Christmas inviting to a book sale at their offices, and a tour of the kitchens that they film the shows. I get emails with recipes etc from Chris Kimball etc. So do you have a fav book. I'm thinking of getting their light (or quasi light book).

JB said...

I am on their email list and I do get their emails and invitations to test recipes and whatnot, which is fun. I'm not sure if I have a favorite book, but if I had to chose it would be a tie between the Best Light Recipes and the Best Make Ahead Recipes. If you'r thinking about getting the Light book I'd go ahead and do it, I make things out of it all the time and they are always good.