“Anelli” Spinach & Ricotta Filled Crespelle (Crepes)

 

Recipe:

Anelli di Ricotta e Spinaci “Rings of Ricotta & Spinach” Anelli is Italian for “rings” Crespelle is Italian for Crepes

Ingredients:

Crespelle: “Crepes” –  1/2 cup all-purpose or ’00’ flour 2 large eggs 1 cup milk unsalted butter, as needed

Filling: 4 cups fresh spinach leave (8 oz) or frozen 3 tbs unsalted butter plus as needed 1 tsp minced shalot 1 cup ricotta cheese (8oz) 1/2 cup Parmesan Reggiano (2oz) 1 egg yolk

To make crespelle (crepes) sift flour in large bowl, add eggs and mix with whisk. Add the milk and mix until evenly blended but don’t overdo it. Strain it through a wire-mesh sieve of some sort and let the batter rest for 30 mins.(chunks will remain in sieve and throw out)

Heat a 10in saute pan or crepe pan, Add a little butter, let it mel. Add 1/4 cup of batter to pan (might have to hold pan up so it covers the entire flat surface area. Let cook undisturbed for 40 seconds, flip and cook another 20 secs. Transfer to plate, repeat until you are finished with the batter.

For filling:

Cook the spinach briefly (until tender and dark color) take out and submerge in ice bath to stop cooking process. Drain in colander and squeeze spinach until the water has left them. Chop the spinach fine.

Heat a saute pan over medium heat, Add 3 tablespoons of butter and add shallots, stire to coat and cook until shallots of tender. About 2 minutes. Add the spinach and cook, stiring occasionally until moisture remaining in spinach has cooked away. Transfer the spinach mixture to bowl or plate and let it cool. Add the ricotta, Parmigiano and egg yolk to the cooled spinach and stire to blend evenly.

To make the rings

Brush a baking dish or casserole with some of the melted butter, To fill the anelli, spoon about 1/4 cup of the fillling mixture down the center of each crespella and roll the crespella around the filling, making the rolls tight enough to hold together. (you’re holding one end, wrapping it over the filling and then rolling it.)

I found it easier to cut into rings with scissors. They “damaged” the crespelle less than a knife. Arrange them in a baking dish, brush with some melted butter and some more cheese sprinkled on top and place in oven at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until they are very hot and cheese has formed a golden crust.

Ricotta Meatballs

Using ricotta in your meatballs make them incredibly lighter and flavorful. These are simple to make and require few ingredients. Known as “Polpettine di Ricotta” in Italian, these meatballs are a nice change from what you might be used to.

Ricotta Meatball

 

Recipe: Ricotta Meatballs (Polpettine di Ricotta)

  • 2 pounds or 4 cups of ground beef
  • 2.5 cups ricotta cheese drained
  • 2 egg (beaten)
  • 1/2 cup flatleaf parsley or
  • A few pinches of nutmeg
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Olive oil for frying the meatballs
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
For the Sauce:
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic minced/sliced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • olive oil to coat the pan to fry the onions and garlic
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • Oregano or Italian Seasoning Mix
1. Combine ground beef in a bowl.  Add ricotta cheese and egg.  Mix thoroughly.  Stir in flat leaf parsley or italian seasoning, Parmigiano-Reggiano, nutmeg, and salt.    Form meatballs into 1″ balls
2. Warm olive oil in sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Fry meatballs until golden brown.  Remove from pan & set aside. (I usually let them drain of excess oil on a brown paper bag or paper towels.
3. Heat more olive oil in  sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Sweat onions and garlic cloves in olive oil until translucent (4-5 minutes).  Deglaze pan by adding red wine, then cook until liquid is reduced by half.  Add can of tomatoes and , then bring to a simmer.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Add oregano or italian seasoning mix  Add meatballs, then simmer for 30 minutes.
Included is a step by step picture slideshow.
Buon Appetito