Pumpkin, Spinach & Ricotta Crespelle

Serves 4-6

A super indulgent vegetarian dish of savoury crepes filled and rolled with a cheesy filling.

TIPS: The success of this dish comes down to the crepes and the ricotta. I’ve given exact instructions on how to make the crepes and how much to pour into the pan for each one. You want a really hot heat, a non-stick frypan and a fresh tiny spoon of butter before every crepe is cooked. For the filling, my favourite brand Ricotta is Mundella. There are some smooth ricottas on the market that are just no good. They taste processed and don’t do this justice. When you’re buying ricotta, look for crumbly curds that taste just like fresh milk.

This can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free flour in the crepes.



INGREDIENTS

Crepes

4 large eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 cup water

1 1/4 cups plain flour (substitute with GF flour if needed. You may need to add a tablespoon more.)

butter, for pan-frying

Filling

1 kg pumpkin, peeled and diced

2 tablespoons EVOO

salt and freshly cracked black pepper

200g baby spinach

220g fresh ricotta

150g parmesan, finely grated

salt and freshly cracked black pepper

To Finish

3 tablespoons butter

12 large sage leaves


METHOD

Crepes

Whisk together the eggs, milk and water. Add in the flour and a pinch of salt and whisk very well until very smooth. It will be fairly thin, a little thicker than pouring cream.

Place a non-stick frypan over high heat. Add in 1/2 tsp butter and swirl to coat the pan. Measure 1/4 cup of the batter and pour into the centre of the frypan, then quickly swirl around to form a 18-20cm diameter circle. Cook for a minute or two until golden in places, then flip over and cook for a little more on the other side. Remove from the pan to a plate. Continue with the rest of the batter to cook 12 crepes in total. LITTLE TIP: You can leave the same frypan out to continue on with the filling, for the step where you wilt the spinach and then make brown butter.

Filling

Toss the pumpkin together with the oil in a roasting tray. Spread out to form one layer, then season all over with salt and freshly cracked black peppers. Cook in a 180 degree Celsius fan force oven for 40 minutes or until golden and tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little.

Place your frypan over medium heat. Tip in the spinach and place over a lid to allow the spinach to wilt completely. It will take a few minutes to do so. Now take off the lid and stir the spinach around, so that the moisture is evaporated off. Do this for 5 or so minutes or until the spinach is fairly dry. Season with a little salt and pepper. Take off the heat and cool for a few miutes.

In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, parmesan, pumpkin & spinach. The pumpkin will mash up a little so there are still a few larger pieces left. Taste, then season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

To Assemble

Take one crepe and lay on your workbench. Roughly divide the mixture into 12 in your bowl. I usually just divide the bowl into 4 sections and make sure that each section is divided between three crepes. Spoon the filling down the centre of the crepe. Fold the crepe over and roll to form a sausage shape Cut into three even lengths, then stand upright and pack into a small, deep roasting tray.

Continue with all the crepes, packing them neatly into the tray. Place in a 180 degree Celsius oven and cook for 20 minutes or until golden, melting and heated through.

To Finish

A minutes before the crespelle are ready to serve, heat your frypan over high heat. Add in the butter and cook until golden and frothy. Add in the sage leaves and cook for a minute more until the leaves are crisp and the butter is browned.

Take the crespelle out of the oven and pour the butter and sage all over. Serve immediately while hot.