Italian crespelle pancakes
Skill level: Bit of effort
Costs: Cheap as chips
Italian crespelle pancakes are great for those mid-week meals when you only have minutes to spare - quick and tasty, these are filled with ricotta and spinach for an Italian twist! they're a little bit like enchiladas in the way they're served up hot in a lovely big baking dish, so they're super satisfying and a dinner that the whole family are sure to love. You can make the crepes up ahead of time to speed things up at the last minute if you know you're going to have a busy evening. This recipe serves eight so if you have a smaller family you could always half the recipe or go all out and make the whole lot, saving half for the next day's lunches!
IngredientsFor the pancakes
- 75g/3oz plain flour
- pinch of salt
- 2 large British Lion eggs
- 200ml/7floz milk
- a little oil for frying
For the filling:
- 30ml/2tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 350g/12oz fresh leaf spinach, washed
- 1 (250g) tub ricotta cheese
- 50g/2oz finely grated Parmesan cheese
- 2.5ml/1/2tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 (345g) jar ready made tomato pasta sauce
Serve hot with a crisp salad. Ciao bella!
- Place the flour, salt and eggs in a large bowl, add half the milk and whisk well until the mixture is lump free. Add the remaining milk and whisk again until smooth. Pour into a jug.
- Heat a 20cm/8in diameter non-stick frying pan until hot, drizzle a little oil over the centre and wipe around the pan with a piece of kitchen paper. Pour a little of the batter into the pan and immediately tilt the pan to spread the batter evenly over the base of the pan. Cook for 2mins or until the top is set and the base golden. Flip over using a spatula and cook for a further 1-2mins or until the base is golden. Make another 7 pancakes in the same way and set aside.
- heat the oil in a medium pan, add the onion and sauté until soft - about 4mins. Add the garlic, then spinach and squash down into the pan. Cover with a lid and cook for 4mins or until the leaves are wilted.
- Tip the spinach into a sieve and press out the excess liquid. Tip into a bowl and mix in the ricotta, half the Parmesan, nutmeg and plenty of salt and pepper to taste.
- Lay the pancakes out on the work surface and divide the filling between them spooning it down the middle of each. Fold the sides over the filling, then roll up the pancakes. Place seam side down in an ovenproof dish.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Spoon the sauce over the top of the pancakes, spooning it in a line down the centre of the pancakes. Sprinkle over the remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20mins or until piping hot and crisp.