This is a new recipe with an old story. One of my favorite foods from my childhood – and my adulthood for that matter – is my grandma’s “scupelles”. They are essentially a rolled up crepe with parmesan cheese served in chicken soup. There had always been much debate on where this dish came from, but Grandma had insisted it was Italian (just like her). Yet, not only did we never meet another Italian family that made this dish, no one had ever even heard of it. Even Google had never heard of it, so the mystery only deepened.
And then, last Christmas I gave my parents an “adopted” olive tree (a tree in Italy which you sponsor and once the olives are harvested, the olive oil is mailed to your house for the season – pretty darn good gift if I do say so myself). The company, Nudo, has their own blog and one of their posts was for “crespelle”, an Italian pancake, or crepe. One of the comments wrote that their grandmother served them in chicken soup, just like mine. It made me think, hm … maybe “scupelle” was just mistranslated form “crespelle”. From there, a Google search turned up an article from Lidia’s Italy that explained the regional names, in their different dialects, have many names for crespelle, including “scripelle” as it’s said in Abruzzo. Aha! And so, the name was translated into New Jersey English-Italian as what my entire family now knows and loves – scupelles!
Anyway, I thought I’d try my hand at the traditional crespelle recipe as demonstrated on Dolce Vita Diaries. The original recipe calls for gorgonzola and radicchio. Gorgonzola is one of very few cheeses I’m not a fan of, and I wanted to try to mix it up and make it my own. I love mushroom crepes as I’ll often have at a French bistro or crepe shop, so I decided to make my own Italian version – with mushrooms and creamy mascarpone cheese.
I added mascarpone to the mushrooms to make a creamy cheese sauce. The mascarpone has a very mild flavor and provides a delicious texture to the crepe filling.
The Italian crespelle are very similar to French crepes, and are cooked the same – very lightly browned on each side.
After each crespelle is al rolled up and nestled in the pan with its neighbors, small dabs of butter and some extra parmesan melt into the pan as it’s baked to perfection.
And voila! Or should I say Buon Appetito!
- 2/3 c. flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 1/4 c. milk
- 2 eggs beaten
- 3 Tbsp. butter
- 3 Tbs. butter
- 8 oz. cremini mushrooms
- 8 oz. white mushrooms
- 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
- 1/2 c. parmesan cheese
Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add salt and milk; whisk until smooth. Whisk in eggs. Refrigerate batter for 1 hour.
Filling: Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan. Add all of the mushrooms and cook until soft. Sprinkle with a dash each of salt and pepper. Transfer mushrooms to a bowl and in the same pan, add the mascarpone cheese and stir frequently until the cheese is melted. Add the mushrooms back to the pan and mix until combined. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the parmesan cheese and remove from heat.
To cook the crespelle, heat 3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan until melted. Cool for one minute and stir the melted butter into the crespelle batter.
Wipe the pan clean with a paper towel so only a very thin layer of the butter remains, and ladle in enough batter to cover the bottom of the pan in a thin coat (about 3/4 full ladle). Tilt the pan so the batter evenly coats the pan. Cook on medium heat for about 1-2 minutes each side, flipping when lightly browned.
Fill each crespelle with the mushroom filling, roll up tightly, and place in an oven-safe dish. Repeat for each crespelle and then top with remaining parmesan cheese and a few dollops of butter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
Adapted from Dolce Vita Diaries
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