Sunday, January 25, 2009

Silver beet and ricotta crepes with tomato sauce

Tradition might dictate pancakes today, but there's no law that says you can't make crepes instead. Topped with a sweet roast tomato sauce and grated mozzarella, they make a perfectly delicious dinner.

Preparation Time 10 minutes
Cooking Time 55 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4)
* 1 bunch silver beet, white stem removed, washed with water clinging to leaves
* 45g (1/4 cup) pine nuts
* 2 tsp olive oil
* 4 slices mild pancetta, coarsely chopped
* 1 brown onion, halved, finely chopped
* 600g fresh ricotta
* Salt & freshly ground black pepper
* Olive oil, extra, to grease
* 500ml (2 cups) roast tomato sauce (see related recipe)
* 100g (1 cup) coarsely grated mozzarella
* Mixed green salad, to serve, if desire
* 115g (3/4 cup) plain flour
* Pinch of salt
* 250ml (1 cup) milk
* 2 eggs, lightly whisked
* 40g butter, melted, to grease

1. To make the crepes, sift the flour and salt into a medium bowl and make a well in the centre. Use a wire balloon whisk to whisk in the milk and egg until a smooth, thin batter forms. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 10 minutes to rest.
2. Brush a crepe pan or 15cmdiameter non-stick frying pan with a little melted butter to lightly grease and heat over medium heat. Add 2 tbs of the crepe batter and tilt the pan in a circular motion, swirling the batter to evenly cover the base. Cook for 1 minute or until the edges of the crepe begin to curl. Turn and cook for a further 1 minute or until golden. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining melted butter and batter to make another 11 crepes, reheating pan between batches.
3. Place silver beet in a saucepan and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Place over low heat and cook for 2 minutes or until wilted. Remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes to cool. Use your hands to squeeze excess liquid from silver beet. Finely chop and place in a large bowl.
4. Heat a medium non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until toasted. Transfer to the bowl with the silver beet.
5. Heat the oil in the same pan. Add the pancetta and onion and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion softens and pancetta is golden brown. Transfer to the bowl with the silver beet mixture. Add the ricotta and stir until combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
6. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place a crepe on a clean work surface. Divide the silver beet mixture into 12 equal portions. Spoon 1 portion of silver beet mixture down the centre of the crepe. Roll up firmly to enclose filling. Place in a roasting pan. Repeat with the remaining crepes and silver beet mixture, placing crepes side by side in the roasting pan. Spoon the tomato sauce over the crepes and sprinkle with cheese.
7. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until cheese melts and crepes are heated through. Remove from oven.
8. Transfer crepes to serving plates and serve with salad, if desired.

Notes & tips
* Microwave tip: Place pine nuts in an oven bag and twist the opening to close. Cook on High/800watts/100%, shaking the bag every minute, for 2-4 minutes or until aromatic and toasted.
* Preparation and cooking times do not include roast tomato sauce.

Australian Good Taste - Page 90
Recipe by Sarah Hobbs


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