Florentine style crêpes

It is the typical example of Tuscan cuisine: great ingredients, simple cooking, right  condiments  to enhance and  not to cover the taste of this cuisine which might seems basic but which  is rich and refined inn the choice of raw materials and in cooking  them in respect of their nature.

Florentine crêpes with artichokes or mushrooms

Florentine style crêpes is an ancient dish that has its origins in the Florentine countryside. Affectionately called pezzole della nonna, ‘grandma's handkerchiefs,' because of their folded form, fiilled with ricotta and seasonal vegetables.
They are made with the same recipe and technique as French crêpes, but with some  important differences. They're not eaten sweet, as the French usually do, but are stuffed with a ricotta and spinach filling, folded or rolled, then covered in generous amounts of besciamella (béchamel) sauce, a few spoons of tomato puree, grated  parmesan  cheese, then baked in the oven until golden brown.

Ingredients for 4 people:

- For the batter:
150 gr of flour
300 ml milk
40 gr of butter, melted
2 eggs
Pinch of salt

- For the filling:
1 egg
250 gr of ricotta
400 gr of blanched spinach

- For the béchamel sauce:
500 ml milk
50 gr of butter
50 gr of flour
Salt and pepper
Freshly gated nutmeg

- To finish:
3 or 4 heaped tablespoons of tomato puree (passata)
Grated pecorino (or parmesan) cheese
Olive oil for greasing
Salt and freshly ground pepper

- Filling: in a bowl, combine the spinach with the ricotta, 1 egg and 2 tablespoon of parmigiano. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, and mix well.

- Prepare the crêpes batter: in a bowl combine 2 eggs, the milk, 4 tablespoon of melted butter  and the flower. Season with salt and whisk gently until a thin batter forms.

- Butter a small  non-stick skillet pour in about  3 tablespoon  of the batter cook until set, flip and cook on the other side. Remove from the skillet and set aside on parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining batter.

- Spread the spinach mixture on the crepes,  and roll up like cannoli or fold them. Butter a baking dish, and arrange the crepes on it. Pour the béchamel on top, sprinkle with the parmigiano and spoon a little bit of tomato sauce on top

There are several variations where the tomato sauce  is replaced with artichokes or mushrooms, depending on the season. In this case, skip the vegetables in a pan for a few minutes with garlic and extra virgin olive oil  and cover the crepes after a  layer bèchamel.

Bake  in a preheated 200° oven for about 20 minutes.