- Crespelle (thin pancakes), produced with the recipe on page 267
- 1 pound fresh spinach OR 1 ten-ounce package frozen leaf spinach, thawed
- Béchamel Sauce, prepared as directed on page 39, using 2 cups milk, 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, 3 tablespoons flour, and ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter plus more for greasing and dotting the baking dish
- 3 tablespoons onion chopped very fine
- ½ cup chopped prosciutto 11A cups freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- Whole nutmeg
- Flameproof ware for baking and serving
- If using fresh spinach: Soak it in several changes of water, and cook it with salt until tender, as described on page 89. Drain it, and as soon as it is c00t enough to handle, squeeze it gently in your hands to drive out as much moisture as possible, chop it rather coarse, and set aside.
- If using thawed frozen leaf spinach: Cook in a covered pan with salt for about 5 minutes. Drain it, when cool squeeze all the moisture out of it that you can and chop it coarse with a knife, not in the food processor.
- Prepare the béchamel sauce, making it rather thin, the consistency of sour cream. When done, keep it warm in the upper half of double boiler, with the heat turned to very low. Stir it just before using.
- Put the butter and chopped onion in a skillet or small sauté pan, and turn on the heat to medium. Cook and stir the onion until it begins to be colored a pale gold, then add the chopped prosciutto. Cook for less than a minute, stirring to coat it well. Add the chopped spinach, stir, and cook for another 2 minutes or so, turning it over 2 or 3 times to coast it thoroughly.
- Turn out the entire contents of the pan into a bowl, add 1 cup of the grating—about 1/8 teaspoon–of nutmeg, ⅔ cup of béchamel, and a pinch of salt. Mix until all the ingredients are evenly combined. Taste and correct for salt.
- Preheat oven to 450°.
- Choose a baking dish that can subsequently accommodate all the rolled up crespelle in a single layer. Lightly smear the bottom of the baking dish with butter. Lay one of the pancakes fiat on a platter or a clean work surface, and spread a heaping tablespoon of filling over it, leaving uncovered a 1/2-inch border all around. Roll up the pancake, folding it loosely and keeping it fiat. Place on the bottom of the baking dish, its overlapping edge facing down. Proceed in this manner until you have filled and rolled up all the crespelle, and arranged them in the dish in a single layer without packing them in too tight.
- Spread the remaining b6charnel over the crespelle. Make sure the sauc covers the ends of the rolled up pancakes and fills some of the space between them. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, and dot lightly with butter.
- Bake on the uppermost rack of the preheated oven for 5 minutes, the turn on the broiler and run the dish under it for less than a minute, just long enough for a light crust to form on top. Let the crespelle settle for a few minutes, then serve at table directly from the baking dish.
Source: Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan page 269