herbed crepes with ricotta, green bell pepper, and spring tomato sauce

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Servs: 12

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  • add   1 garlic clove, minced
  • add   1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
  • add   2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • add   3/4 cup peeled, seeded, and diced fresh tomatoes
  • add   3 large eggs
  • add   1/8 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • add   1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • add   1 large green bell pepper, minced
  • add   1 cup all-purpose flour
  • add   melted unsalted butter for brushing the pan
  • add   1 pound ricotta cheese
  • add   melted butter for brushing the crêpes
  • add   1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • add   1 cup plus 2 tablespoons chicken or beef broth
  • add   herbed crêpe batter (recipe follows) made with parsley or chives
  • add   1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • add   <B>For the cr&ecirc;pe:</B>
  • add   <B>For the tomato sauce:</B>
  • add   <B>For the filling:</B>
  • add   2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • add   1/2 tablespoons salt
  • add   1/3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves or a mixture of other minced fresh herbs, such as chives, coriander, or tarragon
  • add   1 1/4 cups spring tomato sauce
  • add   1/4 cup olive oil
  • add   a 14- to 16-ounce can plum tomatoes including the juice

Instructions

  1. In a skillet cook the bell pepper in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until it is softened, add the garlic, and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. In a bowl stir together the bell pepper mixture, the ricotta, and 1/3 cup of the Parmesan with salt and pepper to taste and let the filling cool.
  2. Make 12 crêpes (procedure follows) with the herbed crêpe batter. Spread about 2 tablespoons of the filling on each crêpe up jelly-roll fashion. Arrange the crêpes, seam sides down, in a buttered shallow baking dish just large enough to hold them in one layer, brush them lightly with the butter, and sprinkle them with the remaining Parmesan. Bake the crêpes in the middle of a preheated 400°F. oven for 20 minutes and serve them with the sauce.
  3. To make crêpe batter:
  4. In a blender or food processor blend the flour, the broth, the eggs, the butter, and the salt for 5 seconds. Turn off the motor, with a rubber spatula scrape down the sides of the container, and blend the batter for 20 seconds more. Transfer the batter to a bowl, stir in the herbs, and let the batter stand, covered, for 1 hour. The batter may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled. Makes enough batter for about 16 crêpes.
  5. To make Crêpes
  6. Heat a crepe pan or non-stick skillet measuring 6 to 7 inches across the bottom over moderate heat until it is hot. Brush the pan lightly with the butter, heat it until it is hot but not smoking, and remove it from the heat. Stir the batter, half fill a 1/4-cup measure with it, and pour the batter into the pan. Tilt and rotate the pan quickly to cover the bottom with a layer of batter and return any excess batter to bowl. Return the pan to the heat, loosen the edge of the crêpe with a spatula, and cook the crêpe for 1 minute, or until the top appears almost dry. Turn the crêpe, cook the other side lightly, and transfer the crêpe to a plate. Make crêpe with the remaining batter in the same manner, brushing the pan lightly with butter as necessary. The crêpes may be made 3 days in advance, kept stacked, wrapped in plastic wrap, and chilled.
  7. To make the tomato sauce:
  8. Force the canned tomatoes with the juice through a food mill into a saucepan. Stir in the salt, the sugar, the tomato paste, the basil, and the cayenne, bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer it, stirring, for 20 minutes. Add the fresh tomatoes and cook the mixture for 5 minutes. Serve the sauce warm. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

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