Crespolini Pancakes with Spinach and Ricotta

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  • These paper-thin pancakes flavoured with Parmesan and ricotta by Homes & Gardens are an Italian favourite

    Serves 4, makes 12-16

    150g plain white flour, sifted 1⁄4 teaspoon salt 3 medium eggs 50g ricotta cheese 1 tsp sugar 150ml milk 50g salted butter, melted or 60ml virgin olive oil

    For the filling
    250g young leaf spinach, washed but not dried 15g salted butter in cubes 1⁄4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg 120g grated Parmesan
    350g ricotta cheese

    Step 1) Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, Gas Mark 4. Combine the flour, salt, eggs, ricotta, sugar and milk in a deep measuring jug or bowl and, with a stick blender, blend for 1 minute to create a dense batter.

    Step 2) Heat a small non-stick pancake pan or frying pan, about 20cm diameter, and add some of the butter or oil to grease. Pour in enough batter to coat the base and tilt the pan to distribute evenly. Cook over a moderate heat for 1 1⁄2 minutes or until golden, then flip or turn the pancake over. Cook for 1 minute on the second side. Cover the pancakes with oiled foil and keep hot in the oven until all are cooked.

    Step 3) For the filling, cook the spinach in a covered saucepan until it wilts to a bright green. Stir in the butter, then the nutmeg and most of the Parmesan. Cover half of each pancake with a share of spinach- cheese mix. Spoon a rim of ricotta around the edge of the uncovered halves. Fold all in half and then in quarters.

    Step 4) Arrange 3 prepared crespolini each on a heat-proof plate and dust with the rest of the Parmesan. Grill briefly until the cheese bubbles, and serve hot. Or arrange all the stuffed crespolini in a large, buttered, ovenproof dish and bake, foil-covered, for 20-30 minutes until hot.

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