Crepes — a type of very thin pastry — exist in the majority of world cuisines. Nevertheless, when I discovered Italian crespelle, it was a surprise for me. Italian cuisine is associated with pasta and pizza in my mind, so I assumed Italians would rather use flour for those. While going through many crespelle recipes, it became clear that crepes in Italy are mostly used as a quick version of stuffed pasta. When stuffed, rolled, and baked covered with sauce and grated cheese, they relate to cannelloni. When stuffed, folded into triangles (fazzoletti di crespelle or “crepe handkerchiefs”), and baked with a sauce and grated cheese, they are a shortcut for lasagna, aren’t they?
Simple, but cooked with great care, variable stuffings (potato, chicken, mushrooms) easily win hearts and souls of my guests, when folded in French wheat or buckwheat (gluten-free) crepes, and adorned with simple dairy-based sauces and creative toppings. Every small plate of the menu is attractive and delicious. They are easy to make in large batches. Make them ahead, refrigerate, and reheat right before party time.