Thursday, March 5, 2009

Manicotti - gluten-free/dairy-free/vegan

Success!!!! My Gluten Free/Dairy Free Manicotti were a huge success on Christmas day! I used a flour blend mix by Annalise Roberts but I would think you can use any you like. Her blend recipe is available on her website here. The recipe for my GF/DF Manicotti is as follows:

Ingredients - shell

1 cup gluten free flour
1 1/4 cup water
9 tbs whipped silken tofu (or three eggs)
1/2 tsp xantham gum

Ingredients - filling

1 package silken tofu (16oz)
1 tbsp Vegan parmasean
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 egg (optional, if making vegan leave out and do not adjust)

Ingredients - other
1/2 cup of tomato sauce (I don't eat a lot of tomato so you might need/like more.)
cooking spray (as needed)

For the shells: Add the flour and xantham gum to a large mixing bowl. Add the whipped tofu (or beaten eggs) and water then stir until blended smooth. The batter should be runny and if it is not, then add a little more water until it is.

Heat a small 5" frying pan over medium heat (oil if not a non-stick pan). Add a small amount of batter to the pan and quickly tilt the pan so the batter evenly covers the entire bottom of the pan in a thin layer. Cook about 2 minutes until the top of the batter is dry, then flip carefully using a small spatula and cook the other side. Set aside to cool and repeat until you are out of batter. (Note: it may be helpful to place the finished shells on wax paper so they don't stick together.)

For the filling: Combine all of the filling ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir (I use a spoon) until combined and resembling ricotta. Do not over stir or the mixture will turn into goo.

To assemble: Spray a baking pan with cooking spray or coat the bottom with tomato sauce.

Hold a cooled shell in the palm of one hand and with the other hand spoon about 3 tablespoons of filling lengthwise across the center of the shell. (I used the serving spoon that came with my flatware - it appears to be the right size for me.) Flip one side and then the other over the filling until you have a mixture filled tube. Flip the tube over (so the folds are on the bottom) and place carefully into the baking pan. Repeat with the remaining shells and filling.

Cover the manicotti with your favorite tomato sauce. (Since I avoid too much tomato, I sort of just brush them with sauce.)

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. (Option: if you want, you could cover with shredded vegan mozzerella cheese after baking and broil until the cheese is melted. Watch carefully while broiling as the cheese will quickly burn and blacken if left in too long!)

This recipe makes approximately 10 manicotti but is easily scaled up.

Don't worry if the first couple of shells are disasters, they take a little practice before you get the exact right amount of batter in the pan and get the hang of tilting to spread the batter.

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