Mary from One Perfect Bite started cooking her way through Gourmet’s list of the Top 50 Women Game Changers in Food and a number of other food bloggers have joined in on the weekly cooking and posting. While I would love to learn more about these women who may have exerted the most influence over our food ways and cook some of their signature recipes, the commitment of once a week cooking and posting is more than I can organize myself to do so I happily read the posts of the other wonderful bloggers who are cooking and posting along with Mary. A couple of weeks ago the ladies were cooking recipes of Marcella Hazan, number 6 on the top 50 list. Over the years I have made numerous Marcella Hazan recipes and my freezer is never without her Simple Tomato, Butter & Onion Sauce* as it’s a great go-to sauce anytime I need it.
One of the blogs that I read is Girlichef and Heather has joined in on cooking her way through the Top 50 list. For Marcella Hazan Heather prepared a gorgeous Layered Crespelle (Crêpes) with Tomato, Prosciutto, and Cheese and after seeing the picture I knew that I had to make it…Well my version of it, of course.
I am soooooo glad that I did make this as it was like lasagna gone high-end gourmet. The crêpes were so delicate in both texture and taste, the best “pasta” I’ve ever had. As I’ve become quite a pro at making crêpes lately and I used my homemade Bolognese sauce which I just pulled from the freezer and defrosted, this layered crespelle came together quite quickly and easily. As there are just three of us and this Crespelle was far more than we could ever even think of eating in one meal I did worry about how it would hold up after the first night. Thankfully there was no need to worry as individual servings reheated beautifully in the microwave and it was just as wonderful both taste and texture wise after being reheated. Because I allowed it to rest properly, it cut beautifully so all the slices were gorgeous. I’m thinking that this along with a nice salad would be fabulous to serve when entertaining guests. I WILL be making this again…Delish!
Making crêpes really is easy once you get your pan going and at the right temperature. The first crêpe or two are always very buttery and not always the best looking but I’ll let you in on a secret, they’re super yummy from all that extra butter and a perfect little treat for the cook. Hey sampling is important as I want the taste to be perfect.
Once all the crêpes are made, gather the ingredients, the crêpes, Bolognese sauce (mine was homemade that I pulled from my freezer stash), fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and Parmesan. On a foil lined pan (foil makes clean up oh-so easy) start with a crêpe and top with a thin layer of sauce, some mozzarella, basil & Parmesan and repeat the process until all the crêpes have been used.
Ready to go into the oven. I ended up with 12 layers just because that’s how many crêpes were available after the cook’s portion and Maisie’s taste testing.
Layered Crespelle with Bolognese, Fresh Mozzarella & Basil (Adapted from here)
1 c milk
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
couple pinches salt
butter, for pan
1 1/2 lbs. Bolognese sauce (I used homemade but use what you like)
10 oz. fresh mozzarella, diced
fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped or ripped
Add the milk, flour, eggs and salt to a blender and process until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for one hour to allow the batter to rest.
Heat a 9" crêpe pan (or whatever you have) over medium heat. Add a small amount of butter and swirl it around to coat the pan. Pour a scant 1/4 cup of batter into the center of the pan. Lift and tilt pan to coat bottom evenly. Cook until top appears dry and the edges are golden and start to curl. Flip and cook 5-10 seconds longer. Remove to a cutting board. Repeat with remaining batter, adding butter to skillet as needed. When cool, crêpes may be stacked with or without waxed paper in between.
Preheat oven to 400° F. On a foil lined pan (foil makes clean up oh-so easy) start with a crêpe and top with a thin layer of sauce, some mozzarella, basil & Parmesan. Repeat the process until all the crêpes have been used and finish the top crêpe with a very thin layer of sauce, nice small whole basil leaves and dots of fresh mozzarella.
Bake uncovered on the top rack for 15 minutes. Allow to rest for 15-20 minutes before carefully moving to a serving platter using spatulas to help lift and guide the "pie". Serve hot or at room temperature.
I actually made this a few weeks ago but never got around to posting the recipe. Here is my Layered Crespelle with my 24-Layer Crêpe Cake. Yes I’ve been on a crêpe kick!
* Marcella Hazan’s Simple Tomato Butter & Onion Sauce. This recipe can be found all over the web but simply it’s: One 28 oz. canned whole peeled tomatoes, 5 tablespoons butter and 1 onion, peeled and cut in half. Put everything in a pot and simmer for 45 minutes. Discard the onion and serve over pasta with Parmesan.