Monday, January 14, 2008

Ricotta and Spinach Crepe Lasagna

Yes, I am guilty of neglecting everyone. So Sorry! The truth is that I've lost a bit of inspiration lately and even dropped out of my lunch group at work for a while! I also recently discovered Facebook, which is definitely procrastination-central.

But another reason I haven't posted in a while is because of the holidays and because I'm actually starting to repeat recipes, believe it or not! This blog is doing what I hoped it would do by grouping my favorite recipes in one place so I wouldn't forget them and would try them again.

I recently compiled my favorite recipes from this blog, from Cooking Light, and from Epicurious and created a cookbook on Tastebook. I then sent this homemade cookbook to several relatives for Christmas. It was a hit! Let me know if you'd like to share your own recipes with me on Tastebook or on this blog!

Today, I am posting a recipe I made a few weeks ago. I had intended to make canneloni, but the crepes I made were falling apart, so it turned out to be easier to make a lasagna. The crepes are different than my previous posts because they're made with chickpea flour (completely wheat-free) and no eggs. The chickpea flour gives them a smoky flavor, which goes well with marinara.


Ricotta and Spinach Crepe Lasagna
For the crepes:
1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons light sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
olive oil

For the filling:
15 ounces container fresh ricotta (or 1 pound)
1 egg, lightly beaten
olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound fresh baby spinach
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper

For the sauce:
4 cups Homemade Marinara

Parmesan cheese, grated

To make the crepes, whisk together 3 1/2 cups cold water, flours, oil, and salt in a bowl to form a thin batter. Strain through a sieve, cover, and set aside for at least an hour. Heat a non-stick crepe skillet on medium-high heat. Brush with olive oil and pour 1/3 cup batter. Heat until the bottom is browned, about 1 minute, and flip and heat for 30 seconds more. Pile on a plate and set aside.

For the filling, mix ricotta and egg in a medium bowl. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add garlic. Heat the garlic until fragrant. Add the spinach, and cook until wilted and liquid is absorbed. Drain and cool spinach and chop. Add spinach to the ricotta mixture and season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper.

To build the lasagna, spread a 1/4 cup of the marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan. Spread crepes on top until the pan is covered in 1 layer. Top with half of ricotta cheese mixture and then with 1 cup of marinara sauce. Then add another layer of crepes, ricotta, and sauce. Top with a final layer of crepes and the rest of the marinara and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Heat in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes or until heated through.
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