Crespelle alla Fiorentina – A Recipe
Florentine spinach and ricotta crepes
Ingredients (serves 6):
For the batter:
• 150 g flour
• 3 eggs
• 300 ml milk
• 75 g butter (melted)
Whisk well the flour, egg, melted butter and salt. Then add lukewarm milk, mix thoroughly and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
For the bechamel sauce:
• 1 L milk
• 100 butter
• 80 g flour Melt the butter in a saucepan.
Add flour, then cook for a minute. Then add the milk, mixing constantly. Bring it to simmering point and cook it until the sauce becomes thick. Add salt and nutmeg to taste and then set it aside.
For the tomato sauce:
• 400 g tomatoes, peeled and diced
• 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
For the tomato sauce, sautè the garlic in a tablespoon of oil, and add the chopped tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes then add a couple of basil leaves. Set aside.
For the filling:
• 800 g spinach with the thick part of the stalk removed
• 300 g ricotta
• 3 tbs parmigiano reggiano
• 1 egg
• 1 pinch nutmeg
• salt and black pepper to taste
Wash the spinach twice and cook it using just the water left on the leaves from the rinsing. queeze it well. Then chop the spinach finely. Mix the ricotta with the cooleddown spinach, salt, pepper, nutmeg, egg and parmesan cheese and put it in the fridge.
For the crepes, heat a small non stick frypan, covering the bottom with a little olive oil, wiping off the excess with kitchen towel. Using a small ladle, spoon the batter into the pan and tip the pan to spread the batter evenly. ‘Less is more’ when making crepes and they need to be paper thin. This amount of batter should make 12 crepes. Fill each crepe with a heaped tablespoon of the ricotta and spinach mixture then fold the crepes over and put them onto a greased oven tray. You can also use a piping bag to evenly place the mixture on the bottom half of the crepe, allowing you to easily fold over the top half, making a half circle, then you fold again in half, to finish with a quarter circle shape. Cover the base of a pyrex oven proof dish with the bechamel, then place the folded crepes evenly on top to form a layer. Cover the crepes with bechamel, parmesan cheese and garnish with the tomato sauce. If cold when placing in the oven, bake for 10 minutes to heat then finish by turning on the grill for another 5 minutes until they are lightly browned.