This recipe was born out of frustration as to what I was going to do with a bumper crop of zucchini one year. It was an instant hit! Now I prepare this autumn casserole for church dinners and family gatherings.
If your family likes vegetables as much as mine does, you'll like this recipe. Vegetables are so flexible, too, that you can substitute your family's favorites for those in this recipe.
In our family, we all like zucchini, so I'm always trying to find some new ways to prepare it.
"MANICOTTI was served as a first course for Easter dinner, and it's so good that we had to remember to save our appetites for the rest of the meal. Instead of using pasta, Mother made crepes, which we helped her fill with smooth ricotta cheese. It was a special holiday treat."
My grandmother brought this recipe from Italy about 125 years ago. It's been passed through the generations and is now being made by my own great-granddaughters! It's a delightful side dish that we serve with a variety of main courses such as pasta with meatballs or baked chicken. I make it every week!
You can bet the pasta was homemade when my aunt made this dish. You don't have to make your own pasta, of course, especially if you want the preparation to go a lot quicker. What I remember most from those afternoons at my aunt's is the aroma of this sauce cooking. She'd have it simmering for 8 to 10 hours. I was worth the wait! —Esther Perea, Van Nuys, California
"CAN YOU BELIEVE that a blend of vinegar and garlic can be strong but subtle, too? That's the best way to describe this recipe.
"I love garlic, so I use a lot of it in this recipe. Luckily, my family likes it, too! And just like my aunt, who had an extensive vegetable/herb garden, we use quite a few of our own homegrown vegetables for this medley. For some reason, they just make this dish taste so much better."