Sunday, October 21, 2012

Crespelle Bolognese

This recipe comes from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, with some tweaks.  This is basically lasagna Bolognese, but with crespelle (aka crepes) in place of pasta. Or if you prefer, Italian enchiladas.

¾ pound ground beef
1 large carrot, diced
½ onion, diced
1 medium leek, cleaned and chopped
1 cup milk
1 cup dry white wine
1 28 oz can tomatoes (3 cups)
1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg

In a dutch oven over medium heat, cook the carrot for 2 minutes, add the onion, cook for 2 minutes more, add the leek, and cook for 5 minutes or so, until the onions are translucent and the carrots softened. Add the beef, and cook until the meat is no longer pink, stirring to incorporate everything. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the cup of milk, and grate the nutmeg into the sauce. Cook until the milk is fully evaporated. Add the wine, cooking until all the liquid evaporates again. Add the tomatoes, and cook the sauce on a light simmer for 2.5 to 3 hours.

1 cup milk
¾ cup flour
2 eggs
1/8 teaspoon of salt

Put the milk in a bowl, and sift in the flour, whisking to remove any lumps in the mixture. Beat the 2 eggs in a separate bowl, then whisk to incorporate. Season with salt. Place the bowl in the fridge for an hour. When you’re ready to cook the crespelle, put a non-stick pan over medium heat, and coat with non-stick spray (or use butter). Ladle between 1/8 and ¼ cup of the batter into the center of the pan, swirling to spread the batter in a circle. Cook for about 45 seconds/side, until they start to get some color on them.

1.5 cups milk
2 tbsp butter
1.5 tbsp flour

Heat the milk to almost boiling in a saucepan. In a different pan, melt the butter and add the flour, whisking constantly. Cook for 2 minutes, until the roux gets some color on it. Add the hot milk, 2 tbsp at a time, whisking to incorporate. When about ½ cup of the milk had been added, go ahead and add the rest. Keep whisking. Cook for a few minutes until the béchamel reaches the desired consistency – in this case, about as thick as sour cream.

Place a spoon full of Bolognese in a crepe, and roll it up like a burrito. Spoon the béchamel over the crespelle, then top with grated parmesan. Position your oven rack on the upper third of the oven, and cook at 350°F for 10 to 15 minutes (to warm through – mine was in the fridge beforehand, so it took closer to 15 minutes), then turn on the broiler and cook for about 2 minutes, until the top starts to brown.


  1. Italian wet burritos, not Italian enchiladas. Enchiladas are made with corn flour, burritos with wheat. ;-)

    1. Good point. Makes me wonder how well crepes would work out with masa harina...