You won't believe these are for Passover! During the year, use regular crêpes.
Food Editor's Notes: Don't you miss Italian food, especially pasta, on Passover? Here's a worthy dish that will satisfy those urges and earn you rave reviews. The pasta in this manicotti is replaced with herbed crêpes made with potato starch. They are not as chewy as regular noodles, so the texture of the dish is softer, but the flavor is delicious, with a combination of cheeses, fresh and dried herbs, spinach, and the marinara sauce of your choice. This comes out of the oven bubbly and browned, a beautiful entrée for a Passover family meal or a buffet gathering for guests. It can be made in advance as well, a definite advantage for the busy holiday cook. This recipe comes from Norene Gilletz' wonderful cookbook, Healthy Helpings: Fast and Fabulous Recipes for the Kosher (or Not) Cook (Woodland Publishing), which means it is healthful as well as delicious. Thank you, Norene!
Passover Herb Blintzes (see recipe)
2 cups bottled marinara or tomato sauce
1 1/2-2 cups grated low-fat cheese (Swiss or mozzarella)
10-ounce package spinach, cooked & squeezed dry
1 egg (or 2 egg whites)
1 pound dry cottage cheese [Norene says this is similar to farmer's cheese]
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
1. Prepare blintz leaves as directed. Spread 1 cup of sauce in a sprayed 9 x 13-inch casserole. Combine half of grated cheese with spinach, egg, cottage cheese, and seasonings. Mix well. Place 3 tablespoons filling at the lower end of each blintz. Roll up into a cylinder, leaving ends open. Arrange seam-side down in a single layer over the sauce. Top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. (Can be prepared in advance and refrigerated or frozen until needed. If frozen, thaw before baking.)
2. Bake uncovered in a preheated 375-degree oven for 25 minutes, until bubbling and golden.
Yield: 12 manicotti (6 servings). These reheat well. They can be frozen either before or after baking.
131 calories per manicotti, 4.3 g fat (1.1 g. saturated), 44 mg cholesterol, 12 g protein, 11 g carbohydrate, 485 mg sodium, 325 mg potassium, 1 mg iron, <1 g fiber, 217 mg calcium.
Norene Gilletz is a good friend to ShalomBoston.com and a frequent contributor to our Food Page. We hope this will continue as her newest cookbook is about to be published in May. Entitled Norene's Healthy Kitchen (Whitecap Books, publisher), this book is a collection of 600 of Norene's best-loved recipes, old and new. Norene is the leading kosher chef and cookbook author in Canada and she has been in the forefront of those cooking healthy and vegetarian dishes, including recipes compatible with special diets. It is a pleasure to read Norene's cookbooks, as her accessible, friendly tone is evident on each page and she gives lots of useful tips throughout.