Crespelle alla fiorentina
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Crespelle alla Fiorentina

Course First course
Cuisine Tuscan
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Author Giulia

Ingredients

Ingredients for the crespelle

  • 3 eggs
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of plain flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 300 ml of whole milk

Ingredients for the filling

  • 500 g of fresh spinach
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 400 g of fresh ricotta
  • 30 g of grated Pecorino Toscano, or Parmigiano Reggiano, or a mixture of both
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Grated nutmeg
  • 1 egg

Ingredients for the béchamel sauce

  • 50 g of butter
  • 60 g of plain flour
  • 700 ml of whole milk
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Grated nutmeg

Ingredients to finish the dish

  • Grated Pecorino Toscano
  • Tomato purée
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • Prepare the crespelle batter. Whisk the eggs with flour and a pinch of salt. Remove all the flour lumps. Pour the milk in a thin stream and whisk to incorporates. Cover the bowl with cling film and put in the fridge for about one hour.
  • Now to the filling. Wash the spinach and collect them in a large skillet. Pour in a few tablespoons of water, cover, and cook on low flame for about 10 minutes, or until wilted.
  • Squeeze the spinach to remove the excess water, they should be as dry as possible, and chop them with a knife.
  • In a pan heat the olive oil with the minced clove of garlic on low flame. When the garlic begins to sizzle gently, scrape in the spinach and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until the spinach are dry and infused with the garlic flavour. Set aside and let cool down.
  • When the spinach are cold, add them in a bowl with the ricotta, the grated Pecorino, a pinch of nutmeg and salt. Mix with a fork as to have a beautifully marbled green and white filling. Taste it: it should have a faint smell of nutmeg and be savoury enough from the cheese and salt. Should it be too bland, add more grated cheese.
  • Beat an egg and stir into the filling. Set aside.
  • Prepare the crespelle: heat a 20cm large non stick pan on medium heat. Soak a paper napkin in olive oil and brush with it the hot pan. Careful with your fingers!
  • Pour the crespelle batter into the pan and swirl to cover it with a thin layer. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the crespella becomes golden brown on the edges, then with a spatula flip it and cook also on the other side for one more minute.
  • Move the first crespella onto a plate and prepare the second one. You should obtain 8 crespelle.
  • Now make the béchamel sauce. Melt the butter in a saucepan on medium heat. 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.
  • Let on medium-low heat until thickened and season with a good pinch of salt and grated nutmeg as to give the béchamel a delicate spiced smell.
  • Now that you have all the ingredients you need - crespelle, béchamel and filling - preheat oven to 200°C.
  • Spread each pancake with the spinach and ricotta filling: roll them up as a cannellone or fold them as an handkerchief.
  • Arrange the crespelle slightly overlapping in a baking dish previously spread with a few tablespoons of béchamel sauce.
  • Drizzle the crespelle with the left béchamel sauce, a few tablespoons of tomato purée, more grated Pecorino and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Lower the oven temperature to 180°C and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown and bubbling on the sides.
  • Eat the crespelle hot just out of the oven or, even better, warm them the day after with a dash of milk.
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