Dried cannelloni (manicotti) shells are readily available in any supermarket, but this recipe is the real thing. It produces a tender dough that can be wrapped around the filling of your choice, covered with a sauce and baked. Worth the small amount of time and effort that they take to make. The batter is similar to popover or pancake batter, and the technique mirrors that of making crepes. A 5 inch omelet pan is the perfect pan for the job. Makes 8-10.
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/4 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
2 tsp. canola oil (or melted butter)
1. Whisk all ingredients together well. Set aside and let rest for an hour.
2. Pour the batter into a small pitcher or two cup measuring cup for ease of use.
3. Heat a small amount of oil in a non-stick omelet (or crepe) pan over medium high heat. Pour out any visible oil. No further oil is needed.
4. Pour a small amount of batter into the hot pan. Swirl to coat. Once the underside is done, flip it over for a few seconds on the other side. Slide onto a plate and repeat the process until the batter is gone. These can be made a few hours ahead if necessary. I separated them with squares of parchment and covered the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerated it. I filled the cannelloni just before I baked them for dinner.
5. Once you’ve completed your dish, it should take approximately 20-30 minutes in a 375 oven to heat through.
I had leftover ratatouille and some cheese, tomato sauce, and fresh basil remaining from pizza making, so that’s what I used for filling and sauce.
The classic would be a ricotta cheese filling for manicotti, with a tomato sauce, but letting your creativity (and leftovers) guide you can produce some really good results.
An online search for cannelloni will provide a number of good ideas for fillings as well.