With Pancake Day coming up I’ve decided to make an alternative version of the pancakes we normally eat. These savoury Italian pancakes were one of my favourite things to eat at my dad’s old restaurant ‘Boccaccio’ in Germany. It is quite a rich dish, most probably because it is laden with an intense gorgonzola and saffron sauce, but that’s what makes it so delicious. The good thing about eating it at this time of year is that your feeling of guilt, when putting the second helping into your mouth, can be balanced out with giving something up for lent the next day, (right?). On the other hand, in Italy this dish is typically used to replace meat therefore is often eaten on a Friday or during lent, no guilt felt there then!
For the Crespelle Makes 12 (Serves 4)
120g plain flour
Pinch of salt
Filling & Sauce
600ml Single Cream
A little Nutmeg
- Put the flour and salt into a bowl. Beat eggs in a separate bowl then add to flour and mix until thoroughly combined. Slowly add the milk stirring all the time so no lumps are formed. A balloon whisk is good for this.
- Melt the butter and add to the batter and mix. Then let stand for 30 mins.
- Fry the crespelle as you would normal pancakes, but use a little olive oil when frying. Set aside to fill.
Filling and Sauce
- Boil spinach in water for 10 minutes and drain well. When cool chop finely and place in a bowl.
- Add the ricotta and a little grated nutmeg to the spinach and mix well.
- Take a crespelle and evenly spread a generous tablespoon of mixture on top then fold in the sides and roll up. Continue do this for rest of crespelle. Cut them in half diagonally
- Pour the cream into a large saucepan and slowly heat, add the gorgonzola and let it melt into the cream. Add the saffron.
- Once all the gorgonzola has melted and your cream is a nice yellow colour add your crespelle and heat through
- Serve as a starter or a pasta dish.
* I put my crespelle into the microwave for a few minutes before puting them into the sauce so they are piping hot.
*I put the saffron into a small bowl wit a teaspoon of water and grind it a little to release the colour, then add it to the sauce.
*You can make the pancakes a day in advance and store in a tupperware in the fridge.