About Beth

Beth
Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene
Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah
Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug
Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy
Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi
Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan
Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry
Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma
Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim
Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Crespelle | Main | Baked Crespelle with Spinach, Proscuitto, and Parmesan Filling »

Baked Crespelle with Bolognese Meat Sauce

Crespelle? Never heard of it/them (pretty sure the word is the same singular or plural), but it's got it's own chapter in the book, albeit a small one with only 4 recipes in total.

This is the kind of recipe that is a bonus due to my participation in this project. I never would have tried it on my own - had no idea what a crespelle is, plus this recipe is not so much prepared as assembled, requiring the preparation of three other recipes found in the book - Crespelle, very thin pancakes (think crêpes) described at the beginning of the chapter and prepared by Deborah yesterday, Béchamel sauce and the increasingly ubiquitous Bolognese meat sauce.

The first time I encountered Bolognese meat sauce in another recipe, I started preparing it from scratch. Along with the main recipe, I spent I great Sunday afternoon in the kitchen. Never again. So one evening a couple of weeks ago I prepared a large batch, divided it into smaller portions and chucked them into the freezer - the only way to deal with Bolognese meat sauce.

All I had to do was thaw & reheat the meat sauce, whip up a batch of Béchamel sauce (easy), and make the crespelle. And this is where I shined! Marcella indicates that the pancakes, prepared in an 8-inch nonstick skillet, can be made well in advance - but I made them as the two sauces were sitting nearby. My first couple of pancakes were less than wonderful. Each pancake requires only 2 tablespoons of batter; the pan is tilted & rotated to distribute the batter evenly. Pretty easy, but not if the bottom of the skillet is too hot. After turning the heat down a bit, I was transformed into a crespelle maker extraordinaire - even able to flip the pancakes in the pan (well, it worked once). Below is the stack of pancakes waiting to be filled with the sauces.

IMG_7123a.JPG

A filling is prepared from the two sauces - 1 cup of the meat sauce, a 1/4 cup of the Béchamel sauce and a tiny grating of nutmeg. (What is it with nutmeg, anyway? It's in a lot of recipes). A heaping tablespoon of a mixture of the two sauces is spread on each crespelle, the pancakes are rolled up loosely and placed in the bottom of a baking/serving dish with the overlapping edges face down. The rest of the sauces are mixed together and spread over the crespelle; some grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese and dots of butter are distributed over the top; the dish is popped into the oven for 5 minutes, run under the broiler for less than a minute - and that's it. Final result below.

IMG_7126a.JPG

What I liked about this recipe:

1. This was one of the few recipes so far that took less time to prepare than I thought when I started. Of course, having the Bolognese meat sauce in the freezer helped a lot. But still, this is pretty quick and easy.
2. This would seem to be a very versatile recipe - could see serving it to guests or some of our kids if they are around and it's very easy to save as leftovers if there are only the two of us. We have a stuffed manicotti recipe that is a regular feature on the menu chez Doug. This crespelle recipe is way easier and even better.
3. I liked the taste and texture of the baked crespelle a lot. Highly recommend this recipe.
4. Crespelle? Oh yeah, I know all about crespelle.

What I didn't like about this recipe:

I ran out of filling for the crespelle while I still had some pancakes sitting on the plate. The directions call for a heaping tablespoon of the filling in each pancake. Well, I think it needs a bit more. Next time I will increase my filling quantities by 50% - pretty sure that will be more satisfactory, at least chez Doug.

Would I make it again?

Let's see? - Quick and easy to make, very good result, sure to impress friends & family, easy to spread over two meals. Yeah, I'll make it again.

Comments (2)

Mindy:

Chez Doug ;-) excellent question, what IS it with nutmeg? I never bought whole nutmeg in my life until I started following Italian recipes. It adds the "oomph" exactly when needed! Your photos are great and this recipe (no surprise) must taste heavenly!!

Thank you and Bravo!

Glad you enjoyed this dish Doug, it looks wonderful. What's not to like? Crespelle, béchamel and Bolognese meat sauce, yum!

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