I know that this little bit of leftovers looks like lasagna, but it’s actually Crespelle With Mushrooms. I’ve written about the joy of crespelle a few months back and if you haven’t attempted these yet, you really must. Crespelle is Italian for crepes and if you have a non-stick omelette type pan, you shouldn’t have any problems. The batter is as simple as mixing eggs, milk and flour with a whisk and after letting it sit for about a half hour, you’re ready to make the crespelle.
I was looking for ideas for a vegetarian dinner when I turned to Domenica Marchetti’s book The Glorious Pasta of Italy. Although the book is chock full of wonderful recipes, this take on mushroom lasagna was exactly the type of meal I had in mind.The beauty of this dish is that the crespelle are a lot easier to make than homemade pasta and yet the taste is exactly the same, or maybe even a little lighter.
Use your favorite tomato sauce and click on the link above for the recipe for the crespelle. Make this dish up to two days ahead for your next dinner party. Your guests will love it!
Lasagne Di Crespelle
1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
1 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the baking dish
1 clove garlic, sliced paper thin
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon minced flat leaf parsley
1 batch crespelle (link in first paragraph)
1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes (I didn’t use quite this much)
1-1/2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Put the porcini in a small heatproof bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes or until softened. Drain the mushrooms in a fine mesh sieve lined with damp paper towels or cheesecloth, reserving the liquid. Chop the mushrooms coarsely and set the mushrooms and the liquid aside separately.
Put the olive oil, 1 tablespoon butter and the garlic in a large frying pan over medium heat. When the butter is melted, reduce the heat to medium-low and saute the garlic for about 5 minutes, or until softened, but not browned. Add the reserved porcini and the fresh mushrooms and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Stir the mushrooms to coat with the oil and butter. Saute for about 20 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and the liquid they release has evaporated.
Raise the heat to high and pour in the wine and the reserved porcini liquid. Stir and then let the liquid bubble for a minute or so. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid is evaporated. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt or pepper as needed. Remove from heat and stir in the parsley.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a 12″ round or 9″ x 13″ baking dish with butter. Arrange 4 or 5 crespelle in the prepared baking dish, overlapping them where necessary to form a thin layer that covers as much of the bottom of the dish as possible. Spoon 1/4 of the mushrooms over the crespelle and spread them out in an even layer. Sprinkle 1/4 of the mozzarella and a little of the Parmigiano over the mushrooms and spoon a thin layer of sauce over all. Make three more layers of crespelle, mushrooms, mozzarella, Parmigiano and sauce, reserving crespelle, a little sauce and a little Parmigiano for the top. Top with a fifth layer of crespelle and spoon sauce over and finally sprinkle with some Parmigiano.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until it is hot and bubbly. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Serves: 8-12