If you're a fan of classic French crepes, then there's no doubt that you'll love Italian crespelle — they're similar to crepes, though crespelle is typically treated like pasta and take a savory route with fillings, which is exactly the case with this Tuscan spinach and ricotta crespelle recipe, courtesy of developer Jessica Morone. "These are so cool because you make these eggy crepes, but they end up tasting like pasta," Morone explains. "The crepe batter is so easy to make and you can really use any filling of your choice for them."
While the thought of making a crepe-like dish in your own kitchen may be a bit intimidating, you can cook assuredly knowing that this recipe doesn't have any particularly difficult steps. You'll have to be a bit patient as the crespelle batter chills in the fridge, but otherwise, you can enjoy a cheesy, savory taste of Tuscany without having to opt for an expensive vacation to Europe.
Read more: 13 Unexpected Ingredients To Elevate Lasagna
Gather The Ingredients For Tuscan Spinach And Ricotta Crespelle
For the crespelle batter, you'll need whole milk, eggs, salt, all-purpose flour, and melted butter. For the spinach and ricotta filling, you'll need baby spinach, garlic, ricotta, pecorino Romano, an egg, a bit more salt, and a secret weapon: nutmeg. "Nutmeg is normally in more creamy kinds of Italian sauces, but it is such a versatile spice that it goes great in sweet or savory dishes," Morone explains, adding, "In this, it really highlights the flavor of the spinach."
Finally, you'll need some tomato sauce to layer between the crespelle when they bake, as well as some oil to cook the spinach and garlic in. Also, you may want some fresh parsley on hand to garnish the final dish.
Make The Crespelle Batter
Start by making the crespelle batter. To do so, add the milk, 4 eggs, and salt to a large bowl and mix to combine. Then add in the flour and melted butter, whisking until you have a cohesive batter. Now, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge, allowing your crespelle batter to chill for at least 2 hours.
Cook The Crespelle On The Stovetop
Once the chilling period is over, place a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add in a bit of olive oil or nonstick spray to grease up the pan, then once it's hot, pour in ¼ cup of the crespelle batter. Swirl it around the pan to form a thin layer, much like you would a crepe, and make sure that the batter is evenly spread out in the pan.
Cook the crespelle for an initial 2 to 3 minutes, or until the edges are nice and golden. Flip it over and cook for another 30 seconds, then transfer your cooked crespelle to a plate. "The only slightly difficult thing in this recipe is when you try to flip the crepes," Morone explains. "They are delicate so if you aren't careful they can rip. But the recipe gives you plenty of batter so if you rip one you can remake it." In fact, this recipe should yield 8 crespelle, so keep cooking and flipping until you have that many.
Mix Up A Cheesy Filling
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Now you can focus on making the spinach ricotta filling. Start by cleaning out your skillet then add in some olive oil, followed by the spinach and garlic. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the spinach has fully wilted. Let the spinach cool down a bit, and once it's cool enough to handle, chop it up and add it to a clean mixing bowl. Add the ricotta cheese, pecorino, egg, salt, and nutmeg to the bowl with the spinach and mix to combine.
Layer The Crespelle With Tomato Sauce And Bake
Grab a 13x9-inch baking dish and spread ½ cup of tomato sauce across the bottom of it. Follow that up with a layer of rolled-up crespelle — to roll them up, simply fill each one with 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling, then roll them into open-ended, enchilada-like shapes. Place the crespelle seam-side-down onto the tomato sauce, then top them off with the remaining tomato sauce and pecorino cheese.
Bake the crespelle for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly. The edges of the crespelle should get nice and crispy in the oven, too.
Serve And Enjoy Your Tuscan Crespelle
Optionally garnish your finished crespelle with some fresh parsley, then serve and enjoy your homemade taste of Italy. "Since this is like a pasta dish I would pair it with things like salad or bread on the side, and maybe a glass of red wine," Morone suggests. Of course, you can't go wrong with enjoying your crepe-like, pasta-like dish all on its own.
Tuscan Spinach And Ricotta Crespelle Recipe
Prep Time: 2h 15mCook Time: 50mYield: 4 ServingsIngredients
1 ½ cup whole milk
5 large eggs, divided
¾ teaspoon salt, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the pan
2 cups baby spinach
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ½ cup full-fat ricotta cheese
⅔ cup pecorino Romano cheese, divided
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 ½ cup tomato sauce
fresh parsley, for serving
In a medium bowl whisk together the milk, 4 eggs, and ½ teaspoon salt until combined. Whisk in the flour and melted butter until the batter is smooth.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Once the batter is chilled, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Lightly grease the skillet with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray.
Once the skillet is hot add ¼ cup of the batter into the pan, swirling it around the pan to spread it evenly.
Cook the crepe 2-3 minutes until the edges are golden. Gently flip the crepe with a spatula and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter until you get 8 crespelle. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Clean the skillet and then add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to it. Add the spinach and garlic and cook on medium heat until the spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly.
Once cool enough to handle, chop the spinach up. Add it to a medium bowl along with the ricotta cheese, ½ cup pecorino cheese, egg, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, and nutmeg.
Spread ½ cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish.
Fill each crepe with 2-3 tablespoons of filling, roll them up and place them in the bottom of the baking dish, seam side down.
Cover the crepes with the remaining tomato sauce and sprinkle the remaining pecorino cheese on top.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the edges of the crespelle are golden. Sprinkle parsley on the top, if desired, and serve warm.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.