Butternut Squash Florentine crespelle for GBC

Date novembre 21, 2012

Crespelle with ricotta and spinach are a typical dish of the Florentine tradition: they look like thin pancakes and are filled and rolled up as cannelloni, as they were fresh pasta.

Apparently Caterina de’ Medici, a Florentine noblewoman who married the future king of France Henry II in 1533, was so attached to her native food that she took a crowd of Florentine chefs and our crespelle to France, later named by our transalpine cousins crêpes. Nowadays you can order crespelle alla fiorentina in many traditional taverns in Florence, but it’s worth losing some time and making them at home, to celebrate a special day, or just to treat your beloved ones with a rich first course.

Once you know how to make and roll up crespelle, you can set tradition aside for a moment, play with the ingredients and fill them with your favourite seasonal vegetables or even a meat or fish sauce (look for example at Emiko’s crespelle verdi di pesce).

Now, in autumn, pumpkins and butternut squashes are generously piled in markets and vegetable stalls. Roasted butternut squash with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and black pepper is my favourite autumn side dish. You can use leftover roasted butternut squash or even roast a whole tray of squash just for this recipe, saving a few slices for your next meal.

If you are curious to discover this recipe, please head to Great British Chefs, where you’ll learn how to make and roll a crespella and you’ll find a suggestion for a seasonal filling. This is the first recipe I’ve written for Great British Chefs, I am really proud of this chance they gave me: I will add a Tuscan hint to their already gorgeous dishes!

Butternut Squash Florentine crespelle
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: First course
Cuisine: Tuscan
Serves: 2
You'll need
Ingredients for the crespelle
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of flour (about 60 g)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 200 ml of whole milk
Ingredients for the filling
  • 350 g of butternut squash
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 150 g of fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1 free range egg
  • 50 g of grated aged pecorino cheese (or Parmigiano, or mature cheddar...)
  • 1 pinch of salt
Ingredients for the béchamel sauce
  • 50 g of butter
  • 60 g of flour
  • 500 ml of whole milk
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Grated nutmeg
For the garnish
  • Grated aged pecorino cheese (or Parmigiano, or mature cheddar...)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sage leaves
How to make it
  1. Make the pancake batter a bit in advance and leave it to stand for at least half an hour.
  2. Beat the eggs with salt and flour avoiding any lumps, then incorporate the milk in a thin stream.
  3. For the filling, preheat the oven to 180°C.
  4. Rinse the butternut squash, cut it in a half, remove all the seeds and slice into 1 cm thick slices. Season with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
  5. Roast the butternut squash for about 30 minutes, until soft and slightly golden and caramelized on the edges.
  6. Blend the butternut squash with a mixer, then mix it in a bowl with the mashed ricotta, the grated pecorino, a pinch of black pepper and salt. Taste the squash and ricotta filling to check if it is savoury enough, then stir in a beaten egg.
  7. Now make the béchamel sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan. When melted spoon in the flour and whisk for a few minutes until golden and toasted. Pour in the cold milk in a thin stream, stirring constantly to avoid lumps.
  8. Cook the béchamel sauce for a few minutes until thickened and season with a good pinch of salt and nutmeg.
  9. Grease a 14 cm wide non-stick frying pan with a knob of butter, heat it on medium flame and cook the crespelle for a few minutes on each side, until golden brown (use about 3 tablespoons of batter to make 7 to 8 pancakes).
  10. Spread each pancake with the butternut squash and ricotta filling and roll them up.
  11. Put the crespelle in a baking dish previously spread with a few tablespoons of béchamel sauce.
  12. Drizzle the crespelle with the leftover béchamel sauce and sprinkle with more grated pecorino cheese. Scatter a few sage leaves on top and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  13. Bake in the preheated oven to 180°C for about 20 minutes until golden brown and bubbling on the sides.
  14. Eat the crespelle warm just out of the oven, or warm them the day after with a dash of milk.

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8 Responses to “Butternut Squash Florentine crespelle for GBC”

  1. Karin@yumandmore said:

    Looks delicious and like a great combination of fall flavors.
    It is also a perfect vegetarian dish for Thanksgiving!!

    [Rispondi]

    Giulia Risposta:

    you are right Karin, I didn’t realize how perfect this could be for Thanksgiving!
    Happy Thanksgiving my friend!

    [Rispondi]

  2. Rosa said:

    A scrumptious looking dish! Delightfully autumnal.

    Heading over to GBC.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    [Rispondi]

    Giulia Risposta:

    Perfect for autumn, to warm up a rainy November day!
    Cheers! x

    [Rispondi]

  3. Regula @ Miss Foodwise said:

    This really looks like a perfect dish for the time of the year. Heading over to Great British chefs right now ;)

    [Rispondi]

    Giulia Risposta:

    I bet you’ll love it Regula, it’s so comforting, and soft, and I can imagine a good British cheese uplifting it to perfection! xx

    [Rispondi]

  4. Holly said:

    This looks so delicious. I had other plans for today’s lunch, but I may abandon them for this instead.

    [Rispondi]

    Juls @ Juls' Kitchen Risposta:

    Ehehe, have you tried it?

    [Rispondi]

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