Crespelle with ricotta and spinach

    1 hour 35 min

    Italian ricotta and spinach crespelle, baked with a cheese sauce instead of the traditional béchamel. Use the cheese you like, does not have to be fancy as long as it melts nicely.

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    Serves: 6 

    • For the crespelle
    • 3 eggs
    • 250ml warm milk
    • 25g melted butter
    • 125g plain flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • For the filling
    • 500g frozen spinach
    • 1 knob butter
    • salt and pepper
    • 700g ricotta cheese
    • 1 egg
    • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
    • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
    • For the cheese sauce
    • 250g mascarpone cheese
    • 2 spreadable cheese wedges such as The Laughing Cow®, chopped
    • 4 cheese singles, chopped
    • 100g soft fontina cheese, diced

    Prep:1hr10min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Ready in:1hr35min 

      Make the crespelle

    1. Crack the eggs in a bowl and add the warm milk mixed and melted butter. Whisk whilst adding flour and salt, a bit at the time, until you have a smooth and lump-free batter. Cover with a cling film and let stand for 20 minutes on your counter.
    2. Lightly grease a 12-13cm non-stick frying pan or a crepe pan. Bring to medium heat and add 1 scant ladle of batter. Tilt the pan to distribute evenly. When the edges start drying, flip the crepe and cook on the other side. Slide the crepe on a large plate lined with kitchen paper.
    3. Proceed the same way until you use all the batter. To speed up this process, use two pans if you haven them. You should have about 20 crepes.
    4. Make the filling

    5. Cook the spinach in the microwave with a few tablespoons water. Drain and squeeze well any excess liquid. Melt butter in a frying pan and add the spinach. Cook til spinach is soft, a couple of minutes, stirring. Season with salt.
    6. In a bowl, stir the ricotta with a fork to break it up. Add spinach, egg, and grated Parmesan. Stir well and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
    7. Assemble the crespelle

    8. Butter and sprinkle a gratin or a baking dish about 20x30cm in size with grated Parmesan cheese.
    9. Fill each crespella with 1 tablespoon of the spinach mixture, then fold in half or in a parcel and place in the baking dish. Fill all the crespelle that way and place one close to the other, slightly overlapping them.
    10. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
    11. Make the cheese fondue and bake

    12. Place all the cheeses in a heat resistant bowl. Place the bowl over a pan with simmering water and cook stirring often, until all the cheeses are melted.
    13. Evenly spoon the cheese mixture over the crespelle, distributing evenly
    14. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Transfer the baking dish to the top position in the oven and grill the top, about for 3 to 5 minutes . Remove from oven, let stand for a few minutes and serve.

    Make ahead

    This is the perfect dish to prepare ahead. You can make the crespelle and the filling 1 day in advance and then assemble and cook last minute. Or you can even prepare the entire dish in advance and just heat it up in the oven before serving. Like all baked pasta, this one benefits from some resting time.

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