Crespelle Ricotta – Spinach

Crespelle are actually pancakes, but instead of putting sugar, you put salt (not the same amount of course).  I like to serve them with a ricotta and spinach filling accompanied with a tomato sauce completing the dish. It might seem that it takes a long time to make this dish, but this is absolutely not true. Just try it!

 Ingredients: (for 4 people)

Crespelle:

  • 250g flour
  • 6dl milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • Fresh parsley
  • 2 eggs
  • Butter/margarine

 Stuffing:

  • 250g ricotta
  • Spinach (frozen is good enough) as a measure I usually take the plastic box of the ricotta and fill it to the top with spinach. And that is the amount I use for this stuffing
  • 1 lemon
  • Paprika powder
  • Nutmeg
  • Parmesan Cheese (grated) 
  • Basil
  • Salt & pepper

Tomato sauce:

  • 3 thin cans cubetti (peeled tomatoes) 
  • 1 Chicken stock  cube
  • Pepper & salt
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh basil
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Salt & pepper
  • White wine (glass)

 Getting Started:

We gonna start by make all the “pancakes”.

  • Chop the parsley (only the leafs)  very very small (you can  either do it by hand or machine). After chopping it put it on paper towel to dry a little bit.  We do this by first putting the flour in a bowl.
  •  Add a pinch of salt and some of the milk. Stir it all until it becomes a nice smooth mass, now add the rest of the milk and again stir.
  • Add the first egg, once this egg is nicely mixed add the second egg.  
  • Add the parsley. Let the mix set for 5 minutes

  • Take  a pan (if you take a bigger pan, you’ll have less pancakes, if you take a small pan, you’ll have more 🙂
  • Put some butter in the pan (when the pan is very warm)  and spread it with a piece of paper towel.
  • Put some of the milk mix in you pan with a Ladle (pollepel) and while poring it in your pan you turn your pan until you mix is equally spread (and you have a round form). Don’t put too much in the pan otherwise your pancakes will be too thick. Turn the pancake when  you see that the top is less liquid.

  •  Keep doing this until you have finished all the mix. You now let the pancakes cool down.

The filling:

  •  We first have to defrost the spinac . I usually just put it in a pot on a low heat. Once everything is defrosted, I let it leak through a sieve (zeef) to get rid of all the water that the spinach has absorbed. You can leave it for about 15min.
  •  Continue with putting the ricotta in a bowl
  •  Add a handful of grated parmesan cheese, handful of thinly cut basil, some lemon zest (you use zest grater for this), a little bit of nutmeg, pepper and salt. I also add a little bit of Red paprika powder (sweet) And Finally add the spinach. FYI for the handful’s if you have small hand, add a second hand 😉
  •  Mix it all together.

The Tomato sauce.

For this dish I want to keep the sauce a little bit sour (not too much of course.

  • Put  your pot on the heat and put some olive oil in the pot. Add a garlic clove (peeled)
  • Once you hear the garlic starts to ‘bake’ you can add the thins of tomato.
  • Add the glass of wine, a handful of cut basil, pepper, salt and the chicken stock cube
  • Don’t throw the tins from the tomatoes away (or not yet). You notice that there is still some tomato in it. Just fill one of the thins with water. The poor that water in the next one. Then in to the last one.  Now you can poor it in the pot.
  • Let the tomato sauce cook for about 15 to 20 minutes on low heat.
  • Mix the sauce.

Now we have made all the basics, we can start  assembling everything  🙂

  •  You take a pancake,  spread some of the ricotta mix  on the pancake (like you would be spreading on a sandwich, you can take a bit more than you would usually put on your sandwich )

  •  Roll up the pancake and put on a backing tray. First put some of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the tray
  •  Once tray filled. To it all with tomato sauce and spread some grated Parmesan cheese over the top.

Once you want to serve it, put it in a pre-heated oven of 190-195°C (374-383°F) for about 15-20 minutes.

Let me know how it worked out?!

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