I’m spoiling myself by creating so many quick and easy recipes that I’m no longer willing to take all day to make a good meat sauce. So I changed my recipe from 2 1/4 hours to 45 minutes and now I’ve decided even that was too long. So I just posted a new, simpler, faster recipe for a delicious meat sauce and here’s the best part: Thirty minutes! And it’s delicious!
I didn’t give up any flavor with my new meat sauce recipe. Mainly, I eliminated the carrots, the celery, and the extra liquid which needed all that cooking time. I love the new simple meat sauce. It leaves me time to make my homemade gnocchi to have with it. This recipe is perfect for beginners with simple ingredients and hardly any work. Click here for the new recipe.- Jenny Jones
You won’t need teeth to eat this soft and tender manicotti made with crepes. And these are whole wheat crepes! I’ve tried stuffing manicotti pasta – you know, the ones that break when you boil them, and slip and slide when you try to stuff them. It’s easier and faster to make homemade crepes and just roll them up with a simple ricotta cheese filling.
This recipe uses two of my other recipes: Crepes and Quick & Easy Spaghetti Sauce. I make the crepes with whole wheat pastry flour. You can use all-purpose flour but trust me, they are beautifully soft and tender made with w.w.p. flour. The best part is that you can make the crepes and sauce a day or two in advance and when it’s time to make dinner you only have to put the easy filling together, roll up the crepes, and bake. You’ll have just enough time to make a salad and some steamed broccoli on the side.
The stuffing is a simple combination of part skim ricotta and mozzarella cheeses with parmesan, parsley, and an egg yolk. You can cover them all over with sauce or sometimes I leave the sides bare and put sauce down the center. I’m a big fan of my homemade spaghetti sauce but you certainly can use a bottled sauce if you like.
When stuffing and rolling the manicotti, you can tuck in the ends to seal in the filling but I like to leave the ends open and let a little cheese show itself. Plus it’s less work just to roll them up, no tucking. Remember it’s important to have vegetables at every meal so while this bakes for 30 minutes, be sure to take time to make a salad and a cooked vegetable on the side.
There’s almost no cleanup with my easy chicken parmesan recipe. The prep is all done on wax paper and if you line your baking sheet with foil like I do, you won’t have to wash it. This recipe will convince you that frying is not necessary to make a fabulous chicken parmesan. First I pound the chicken to an even thickness of 1/2-inch. That’s to make sure it cooks evenly. Then I dip each piece in flour, beaten egg, and finally coat it with (homemade) bread crumbs that I season myself.
I start with plain breadcrumbs and season them with a store-bought Italian seasoning mix. Then I add parmesan cheese and it makes an delicious breading for these chicken cutlets. They bake for 20 minutes… oh hey… that’s just how long it takes to make my quick and easy marinara sauce, start-to-finish. After 20 minutes, top it with some sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese, bake a few more minutes and… yummm! I always shred my own cheese because packaged pre-shredded cheese does not melt as well.
The last time I made this I baked it at 425 for 17 minutes and it was a bit more crispy but it’s not much of a difference. This photo above was baked at 425. Let me know if you try the higher temperature.
Who doesn’t like chicken parmesan? Now you can make a healthier chicken parm topped with part skim mozarella to keep it low fat and light. This is truly Italian comfort food. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones