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Manicotti with homemade ricotta cheese

12 - 16 manicotti tubes, raw

2 cups ricotta cheese (recipe below)

1 cup chopped fresh spinach

2 cups Friulano or Monterey Jack cheese

2 cups pasta sauce

2 tsp Brass Ring Original

Preheat oven to 350 F

Soften manicotti tubes in simmering water for 2 minutes or until fork is just able to penetrate the outside of the pasta - you do not want the fork to penetrate all the way through or it will be difficult to work with.

In a bowl, combine ricotta, spinach and 1/3 of the Fruliano cheese. Place into manicotti tube with a teaspoon, holding your hand or finger over the opening at the other end. Gently tamp down the filling to eliminate air pockets. Repeat until all tubes are filled.

In a large baking dish, put a thin layer or pasta sauce on the bottom of the dish. Place the filled tubes on the bottom of the dish and cover with the remaining pasta sauce. Sprinkle on the Brass Ring Original. Cover with the remaining Fruliano cheese and cover with tin foil. Place in the oven for 35 - 40 mins or until cheese has browned. Remove tin foil cover halfway through.

Ricotta Cheese

2 parts whole (homo) milk (we use 2 litres)

1 part buttermilk (we use 1 litre)

season with your favourite Brass Ring Seasoning

Place in a large pot on medium heat, stirring occasionally. After 15 - 20 mins, the cheese will start to clump on the surface. reduce heat and simmer for a further 5 mins or until there is a clear definition of whey and cheese. Drain in a strainer, and leave in strainer for 20 mins to make sure all whey has drained. I haven't done it, but you can keep the whey to cook with and make sauces etc. It's supposed to be very good. Refrigerate the ricotta for up to 2 days or more depending on your fridge.

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