Crepes with Ricotta

April 9, 2018

 

This is simple comfort food for a weekday dinner or an easy and filling main course for a dinner party. You can make the crepes in advance and refrigerate. Feel free to play around with the filling. Ricotta and spinach is a classic Italian filling but you could add saute’ veggies, mushrooms, chicken etc. If you can’t get ricotta, use soft homemade or ready cottage cheese. This is the same filling for a hearty cannelloni or a layer in a vegetarian lasagna. Omit the salt in the crepes, serve with a sauce and fruits and you have a dessert recipe ready.

 

 

 

The Crespelle

 

Makes 8 crespelle

  • ¾ cup all purpose flour

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 2 eggs

  • ¾ cup milk

  • 1 tbsp melted butter

  • Olive oil

 

Putting it together-

  1. Whisk the flour and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk.

  2. Whisk the egg mixture into the flour mixture until smooth

  3. Whisk in the melted butter.

  4. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to 3 hours.

  5. Heat a non stick pan of approx 10” and brush with olive oil

  6. Pour about ¼ cup of batter and rotate the pan to even out the batter till the edges..

  7. Cook until golden brown below, then flip and cook till brown in patches on the other side.

  8. Transfer onto a plate.

  9. Repeat the process for the remaining batter. Rub the pan with oil only when required.

 

 

Ricotta and Spinach Filling

 

  • 1 bunch fresh spinach, washed and finely chopped

  • ½ onion finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • Olive oil

  • 1 ½ cups ricotta cheese (or soft cottage cheese)

  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmiggiano (Parmesan) or any other hard cheese

  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

  • Chia seeds (optional)

 

 

  1. In a pan, heat some olive oil and cook the onions and garlic. Add the chopped spinach with a couple of table spoons of water. Season. Cover, stir and cook till wilted.

  2. Combine the cooked spinach with the ricotta, parmeggiano and parsley. Season to taste. You can adjust the ratio of ricotta to spinach as per your liking.

  3. Keep aside or refrigerate if using later.

 

 

The Tomato Topping

  • 2 cups cooked tomatoes, chopped without skin or 1 can chopped tomatoes concentrate

  • 2 tbsp tomato puree

  • 2 cloves garlic, whole

  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

  • Fresh basil leaves

  • Oregano and chilly flakes (optional)

 

Making the sauce-

  1. Heat some olive oil in a pan. Flatten the garlic cloves with a knife and add to the hot oil to infuse flavour and aroma.

  2. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and a splash of water.

  3. Season and add a few basil leaves. You can add some oregano and chillie flakes if you like.

  4. Remove the whole garlic cloves.

  5. Cover and cook on low heat, stirring occasionally. The sauce should thicken in about 15 mins.

  6. Take off from heat and keep aside.

 

Final Assembly

  • In a baking dish, spread some of the tomato sauce on the bottom.

  • Fill each crepe with the filling on one side. Sprinkle some chia seeds for that extra healthy touch. Chia seeds are a great source of protein and Omega 3.

  • Fold in half and assemble neatly on the baking dish, slightly overlapping.

  • Top with the tomato sauce, grated Parmeggiano or any hard cheese, and chopped basil leaves.

  • Season with some crushed pepper. Cover the dish with foil.

  • Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 15 mins. Remove foil and bake for a further 10 mins till golden brown and bubbling.

  • Serve with a salad on the side. I like to combine with a tangy Orange, Walnuts and Feta Salad (see recipe under Salads).

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