About 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 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 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 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 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 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, 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 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 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 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 Archives

August 10, 2010



My assignment is to make a simple batch of crespelle. Crespelle are very thin pancakes made from a batter. Italians use them like pasta wrappers, and in Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking Marcella offers three recipes as examples of their use. They all look absolutely delicious to me.

The ingredients are few - milk, eggs, flour, & salt.


The process is simple. Slowly sift the flour into the milk as you whip with a fork to avoid lumps; stir in the eggs one at a time; add salt. Lightly butter an eight inch skillet. Set the pan on medium heat. Pour 2 tablespooons of batter into the pan. Tilt and rotate to distribute the batter evenly. When batter sets, flip the crespelle and brown the second side. Repeat process until all batter is used up. Be sure to stir the batter each time before pouring it into the pan.


Now we come to my dilemma for this assignment. I can't just make my crespelle and not use them in some wonderful way, can I? Yet, this project is about Marcella's recipes, not ours. Am I bending the rules by reporting on how I use my crespelle? I can't use one of the recipes that follow, because they are for Doug, Cindy, and Sandy/Jan to report. In the end, I decide to report my entire dish. *Disclaimer* - It has not been a Marcella-approved recipe.

I think about using them in some dessert type application, but that will not be crespelle, will it? Italians use crespelle for savory dishes, not dolce. They leave that to the French and their crepes.

So, I decide to create my own filling and do a layered dish - meat free for my vegetarian daughter to enjoy. She is training for the Chicago Marathon coming up in October, and is being especially vigilant about a healthy diet. I suspect that most people would include a little bechamel here, but I want something extra light, so I don't.

I sauted equal measure sliced shallot, mixed dried mushrooms, & diced red pepper in a little oil and butter. I drained the saute on paper towel to remove as much grease as possible; put it back in the pan; and simmer in the filtered soaking liquid from the mushrooms until all the moisture boils away. A little salt and pepper and my filling is ready.


Starting with a lightly buttered glass pie pan, I lay down the first crespelle. On top I scatter a porton of the saute and sprinkle it with grated parmagiano-reggiano. I repeat the process and continue through eight layers. I finish by topping the last crespelle with a final sprinkle of cheese and four little decorative bits of the saute.


I bake the layered dish for about 15 minutes in a 400º oven and then let it sit for a few minutes before cutting into four wedges.


We enjoy our Layered Crespelle with Mushrooms, Shallots, & Peppers with a light fresh green salad and a glass of sparkling blood orange lemonade. A perfect summer weekend lunch.


August 12, 2010

Baked Crespelle with Spinach, Proscuitto, and Parmesan Filling


Don't you think that after making so many recipes out of Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking I'd find one I don't like? Well, I don't think it's happened yet. It sure didn't happen with this recipe. Yum, it was so good.

Crespelle are basically crepes. Easy to make. They crepe can be made up to 3 days ahead. I made mine the night before. When you do that, this recipe comes together pretty quickly. The filling is sauteed onions, proscuitto, and spinach. Once that's cooked, you add paremesan and bechamel sauce. You fill the crespelle with the mixture, roll them up, and lay them in a single layer in a pan. You spread the remaining bechamel sauce over them, sprinkle with more parmesan, and dot with butter. Then you bake in a hot oven for 5 minutes, then place under a broiler until lightly browned.

I loved the saltiness of the proscuitto and paremsan, and the creaminess of the bechamel. The filling was so good I wondered if I would complete the dish. Somehow those crepes were disappearing into my mouth instead of going into the baking dish.

I think this will be a recipe I will make next time I have guests over for dinner. It's quick, easy and so good.

August 13, 2010

Layered Crespelle with Tomato, Prosciutto and Cheese

This was an enjoyable process. I love making crepes and crespelle—pouring in the batter and twirling the pan. They cook very quickly so making 8 or 9, as the recipe calls for, takes no time at all. I stacked them with wax paper because I made them in the morning, and kept them refrigerated during the day.


I wished I had doubled the tomato sauce recipe because it was fabulous by itself.

The recipe involves layering the crespelle with the sauce, cheeses (fresh mozzarella and parmigiano-reggiano) and shredded prosciutto, then baking the stack in a cake pan.


The result was a fantastic combination of salty, creamy, tangy and rich flavors. It was the perfect “primo” for 4 heavy eaters and could have easily served 6.


This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Pomodori e Vino in the Crespelle category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Chicken, Squab, Duck, and Rabbit is the previous category.

Desserts is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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