Lamb Stew and Stuffed Pancake Rolls: Jane Baxter’s Italian Family Favorites – Recipes | Food

BOlognese sauce, or ragù, comes in one form or another in most British households and is usually made with minced beef. In Italy, however, it is traditionally made with a mixture of pork and veal, although in the south lamb is much more popular, especially in spring. Crespelle, meanwhile, are a lighter alternative to cannelloni. All of the different components can be used in other dishes – tomato sauce with pasta, béchamel in a gratin, filling in a toasted sandwich and pancakes as a pud, for example – but combined as they are here they make a very satisfying vegetarian dish that the whole family will enjoy.

Spinach and ricotta crespelle (pictured above)

There are a few steps involved here, but they’re all fairly simple and can be made ahead of time, leaving you to just assemble and cook the dish when the time comes.

Preparation 10 minutes
To cook 1h40
Serves 4-6

For the pancakes (to make 12)
100g plain flour
2 eggs
300ml milk
1 tablespoon oil
1 pinch of salt
for frying

For the tomato sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves
peeled and thinly sliced
1 pinch of dried chili flakes
1 can of 400 g plum tomatoes

1 teaspoon of sugar
Salt and pepper

For the bechamel
50g of butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
50g flour
500ml whole milk
grated nutmeg
to taste
50 g vegetarian parmesangrated

For filling
500g spinachwash
1 tablespoon olive oil
25g of butter
1 tablespoon marjoram leaves
1 clove of garlic
peeled and grated
250g ricotta
1 egg yolk
75 g vegetarian parmesan
grated, plus extra for serving

First prepare the pancakes. Whisk the wet ingredients into the flour to make a fine batter, add a pinch of salt and let sit for at least five minutes.

Melt a little butter in a non-stick pan over medium heat, then pour a ladleful of batter, tilting the pan to coat the bottom. Cook for a few minutes, until the bottom of the pancake is set, then flip and cook the other side for a few more minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter.

Now for the sauce. Put the oil in a small saucepan over low heat, add the garlic and dried chilli and cook until the garlic slices are opaque (and before they turn brown). Add the tomatoes and sugar, season generously, then increase the heat to medium and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cook gently for at least 30 minutes, then blitz smooth and cool.

Next, the béchamel. Put the butter and olive oil in a saucepan over low heat. Once melted, stir in flour, beating with a wooden spoon until smooth, then cook gently, stirring for five minutes.

While the roux cooks, heat the milk in another saucepan – do not let it boil – then stir into the first saucepan a ladleful at a time and beat after each addition, until the sauce is smooth and smooth. thick. Season well, add nutmeg to taste, simmer for five minutes, then stir in cheese.

Now let’s move on to the pancake filling. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the spinach and cook, stirring, over high heat, until softened. Season, pour into a colander set over a bowl. Once the spinach has cooled, squeeze out the excess moisture, then roughly chop.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the marjoram and garlic and cook for one minute. Pour in the chopped spinach, braise for a few minutes in the flavored butter, then pour into a bowl and leave to cool. Once cooled, stir in ricotta, egg yolk, vegetarian hard cheese and seasonings.

Finally, assembly and cooking. Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/Gas 6. Butter a large baking dish in which 12 rolled pancakes will fit perfectly. Spread half of the béchamel on the bottom of the dish and coat with half of the tomato sauce. Divide the filling between the pancakes, then roll up each one. Arrange the pancakes on the tomato sauce, then cover, first with the rest of the sauce, then the béchamel. Sprinkle with additional cheese and bake for 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Lamb pasta and pea stew

Italians enrich meat stew not only with wine, but also with milk, which makes the sauce creamy. If desired, add frozen beans or jarred artichokes four or five minutes before the end of cooking.

Preparation 15 minutes
To cook 1 hour
Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil
500g minced lamb
Salt and black pepper
1 onion
peeled and finely diced
1 small carrottrimmed and finely diced
1 stalk of celeryfinely chopped
1 leektrimmed and finely diced
3 cloves of garlicpeeled and crushed
1 pinch of dried chili flakes
1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
1 anchovy fillet
1 splash of white wine
tomato passata
250ml chicken broth
250ml whole milk
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
150g frozen peas
Grated parmesan
500g casarecce, fusilli or other dry pasta

Place the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat, then brown the mince. Season well, then transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Pour the diced vegetables into the oily pan, cook over medium heat, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, then add the garlic, chilli, fennel and anchovies, and cook for another minute.

Return lamb to skillet, toss with vegetables, then increase heat, add wine and cook until almost evaporated. Add the passata, bring to a boil and cook for five minutes. Pour in the broth and simmer for another 10 minutes, until the sauce is quite thick; during cooking, break up the pieces of meat so that the sauce is creamy.

Add the milk, simmer for about 15 minutes, until the sauce is thick and creamy, then stir in the vinegar and peas, season again to taste (be generous) and cook for three minutes. The sauce is now ready.

Cook the pasta of your choice in plenty of boiling salted water according to package directions, until al dente, then drain, reserving a small cup of the cooking water.

Stir the sauce into the pasta, add grated parmesan to taste and season again; if the pasta seems a little dry, add some of the reserved pasta water. Serve with additional grated cheese on the side.

Jane Baxter is chef/co-owner of Wild Artichokes in Kingsbridge, Devon

The subtitle of this article was changed on April 11, 2022 to remove the word “vegan” in connection with the first recipe, which contains ricotta.

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