Who am I? 24601. I am Jean Valjean. Though I am Javert too. But aren’t we all a little bit of both? Hide and seek starts young, but never really stops. Cops and robbers is a relentless game. We search. We hide. Depends on the day and situation. Saturday mornings, I am Jean Valjean as I dodge and weave and try to avoid a day of chores. By night fall, I am Javert, in hot pursuit of my kids’ electronic devices. We all chase or avoid: clients and customers, employees and bosses, spouses and ex-spouses, friends and lovers, bills and rent, the taxman and then finally, the Grim Reaper. As for Russell Crowe, who knew? The guy can sing (but he’ll never be a gladiator in my mind again).
The moral of the story, of course, is to enjoy Sunday Pasta while ye may. It offers a temporary reprieve to all of us. So escape and relax. And for just a moment, don’t be among Les Miserable.
As for the French and Italian food… Well yes, crespelle are essentially crepes, originally from Brittany. But they are but one example of a cousin cuisine. When Catherine de Medici married King Henry II of France, she brought with her from Florence to Paris an army Italian ingredients, cooks, and recipes, and vice versa. Bechemel sauce, now common in Italian cooking, is named for the Marquis de Bechemel, a steward of Louis XIV. The cross culinary pollination runs deep, especially up north.
p.s. Check out our wine pairings to complement this dish.Print
Sunday Pasta® Recipe: Crespelle alla Fiorentina (Spinach and Ricotta)
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 1x
For the Filling:
- 2 cups spinach, cooked and chopped
- 12 ounces ricotta cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
For the Crespelle (Crepes):
- 1 cup of flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Bechemel Sauce:
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 ounces butter
- 2 cups of milk
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- With a spatula or wooden spoon, press the excess water out of the spinach. Add the ricotta, egg, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Mix together well.
For the Crespelle
- Prepare the batter like pancakes by mixing the eggs with the flour, milk and melted butter. On a hot skillet, melt butter and add a thin layer of batter. Flip when cooked through. Do not brown. Repeat.
For the Bechemel Sauce
- In a sauce pan over low heat, melt the butter, add the flour, and then the milk. Stir in the milk gradually, with a wisk. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Do not allow to get too thick.
To Assemble the Crespelle
- Take each crepe and add a large spoonful of filling lengthwise to the center, the roll into a tube shape. Ration so that an equal amount goes into each. Place the crepes into a large, buttered, baking dish. Cover with the Bechemel and then place spoonful of tomato sauce on each. Bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned.
- Serve immediately.