February 22, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — ros @ 5:06 pm


When it comes down to it, although I like eating pancakes, I hate making them. They’re a bit time consuming and generate a fair bit of washing up. They don’t provide me with the creative license I like to use when I’m cooking (not until I get to making the fillings anyway) and there’s usually someone around who’ll eat them as they come out of the pan so that I, when I think I’m finally done, turn around to find an empty plate and a bunch of fat gits demanding more pancakes.

However, since it was Shrove Tueday this week, I thought I’d use the pancake tradition to give myself an excuse to try something I’d wanted to have for a while. I first encountered this dish in Renezio, a very nice little Italian eaterie in Shepherds Bush. I’ve since learned that it is an Italian classic.

The dish was a cannelloni filled with veal. The pasta was replaced by very thin, soft crépes. Apparently, back in the day, these crépes would be frequently be used to make a poor man’s version of cannelloni or lasagne. I thought the Renezio version was fantastic and I’d been dying to make some of my own. So, this Shrove Tuesday, I gave it a go. 

It seems that veal mince is rather hard to come by. I’m sure I’ve seen it at Borough, but I didn’t have the foresight to buy any last time I went and I quickly found that no supermarket would stock any kind of veal cut suitable for mincing. Since there also was no poultry mince anywhere, and I REALLY couldn’t be bothered to mince up some myself, I went with the next best thing: pork mince.

The rest of the recipe was close to the traditional version. The filling was essentially a marinara sauce with added pork mince, chopped spinach and ricotta. Once it had been rolled in the crépes, I topped the canneloni with bechamel sauce and mozzarella and baked it for about 15 minutes.

It looks like this electric oven is still producing the interesting spotting effect on cheese topped food.


And typically there was one roll that wouldn’t fit in the dish. Actually, it wouldn’t fit in our stomachs either, so I had it for breakfast this morning.

Spare crespelle

I suppose veal mince would have perfected this, but the pork substitution worked suprisingly well. I served my crespelle with a simple green leaf salad tossed in a dressing of lemon infused oil and balsamic vinegar.

In theory, I’m not supposed to be writing up any more recipes until that damned thesis of mine is finished but, I noticed that there are very few decent recipes for this dish on the internet so it seems silly to not record what I did. So here is the not veal crespelle recipe.


  1. They look great. I didn’t know the Italian was “crespelle”, very useful!

    You’ll appreciate this — have you seen the bento on cookingcute.com? My favourite is http://www.cookingcute.com/gallery/gallery_012407.htm — how amazing is that!?

    Comment by James — February 25, 2007 @ 9:00 pm

  2. Sounds a lovely recipe. I recently bought some veal mince in Waitrose in Windsor, and only when I got home thought, “what on earth am I going to do with it?”, so your recipe came up when I Googled it. Thanks! I’m going to give it a try.

    Comment by Jenny Woodford — March 16, 2008 @ 12:48 pm

  3. I will definitely have to try this one out. Thanks.

    Comment by wandas11 — March 17, 2008 @ 9:30 pm

  4. Where,in the New York metropolitan area, can I find restaurants that serve crespelle, with a filling of minced meat, and topped with bechamel sauce, and baked? Your help would greatly be appreciated. Thank you. Roger Pearson

    Comment by Roger Pearson — June 1, 2014 @ 6:08 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment

In the aid of defeating SPAM Comments, please follow these instructions: