I like making Italian pasta dishes, but am usually stuffed after eating a bowl of pasta. Is it possible to make a lighter version of some classic Italian dishes? Surfing the web for recipes, I landed upon one for Cannelloni Crepes. What?!! Cannelloni made with crepes? Sounds more French than Italian.
From my research, I found out that cannelloni can be made with either sheets of pasta or crepes and filled with savory stuffings which may include ricotta cheese, spinach, and various meats. It is then covered with a sauce, typically classic tomato or bechamel sauce. Ok. I'll bite and give Cannelloni Crepes a try.
Major success! A lighter version of an Italian favorite. I love making new versions (at least to me) of classic recipes. Four of the five family members enjoyed the new cannelloni. A little explanation was in order to describe the new recipe, but My Oldest, My Middle One, The Husband, and I prefer the crepes to the pasta sheets. No Thank Boy is not a fan of cheese-filled Italian dishes. He invented his own dinner - The Hotdog Crepe. A dirty water dog rolled in two crepes was his new creation. To each his own.
I would have not envisioned Cannelloni Crepes being a new family favorite. Maybe it will be a hit at your house too.
5 large eggs
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups flour
3 cups ricotta cheese - I used part skim
2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
about 4 cups of your favorite marinara sauce or a double batch of my homemade version
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
To make the crepes, in a large bowl mix first four ingredients. Add flour slowly and mix well. Let stand for 10 minutes. For each crepe, coat a crepe pan or 8 - inch nonstick pan with cooking spray and heat to medium high temperature. Ladle about 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan and swirl to cover bottom. Cook the crepe for about 1 - 2 minutes until browned. Flip the crepe and cook for about 15 seconds. Turn out onto parchment paper. Let cool.
For filling: Mix ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese, garlic powder and parsley in bowl. Set aside.
To assemble the cannelloni, coat a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Add a layer of the sauce to dish. For each cannelloni, fill a cooled crepe with about 1/4 - 1/3 cup of the cheese filling and roll up. Place in prepared dish. Roll remaining crepes. Top with sauce, remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until bubbly and heated through.