Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Crespelle alla Romana

Here is a dish that is great to make out of leftovers. Anytime I make a big batch of ricotta cheese I always like to find different ways to use it up whether it be through sweet or savory applications. In this case I have used it for crespelle or crepes. In this recipe I have taken a Roman approach to the dish by combining the ricotta with pecorino romano cheese, mozzarella & the famed guanciale(cured pork cheeks) of Lazio. This is a very simple dish that is all about the ingredients. Sub par ingredients will yield a sub par dish, so take the time to make it right. This serves as a great primi(pasta course) to some roasted meat like a veal chop or pork roast.

TT = to taste

Crespelle - Makes 12:
1 cup AP Flour, sifted
3 Eggs
pinch of salt
1 1/4 cups milk
2T melted butter

Whisk together flour, eggs, salt & milk
whisk in butter
let rest for 30 half hour
Use a ladle and our a small amount of the batter into a non stick skillet over medium heat
cook on one side for 45 seconds to a minute
flip and cook on other side for 20 seconds
transfer to parchment lined tray

Ricotta - Makes a little over 4 cups:
1 Gallon Whole Milk
1 Quart buttermilk
1 Pint Heavy Cream
1t salt

Bring all ingredients to a boil over med-low heat
let stand for 20 minutes
pour through cheesecloth lined strainer
let rest for 20 minutes
transfer to airtight container & refrigerate
Keeps for 1 week

3 cups ricotta
1 cup guanciale cut into matchsticks and cooked till crispy (substitute pancetta or bacon)
5 garlic cloves thinly sliced, and cooked in rendered guanciale fat until lightly browned
1 Fresh Mozzarella Ball, grated
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano (substitute parmigiano reggiano)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1T Coarse ground black pepper
1T Chopped fresh rosemary
1T fresh thyme
TT Grated Nutmeg

Drain ricotta for an hour
preheat oven to 450F
Put ricotta into stainless steel bowl
stir ricotta vigorously for 1 minute with wooden spoon to make creamy and pliable
fold in remaining ingredients until well combined
put about 1/4-1/3 cup of filling in each crepe
fold over and press in to half moon shape
repeat with remaining crespelle
there should be some filling left over ( around a half cup maybe a little more)
Shingle crespelle in butter lined baking dish (3 8x8 pyrex dishes or 2 9x13 pyrex dishes)
top with crumbled filling and grated pecorino romano cheese
bake in oven until nice golden brown and crispy (around 20 minutes)
allow to cool slightly
garnish with some more grated pecorino cheese, and I like to garnish with a little olio santo( hot chili oil - optional)
serve immediately

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