Crespelle Is The Perfect Mashup Of Manicotti And Crepes

Not quite a crepe or a manicotti, but equally delicious, crespelle combines the attributes of both to make a delicious dish that can be savory or sweet, per La Cucina Italiana. Crespelle may not be as well known as manicotti or crepes, but they're an easy-to-make meal. Like both the classic Italian and French recipes, crespelle uses dough as a casing around a filling.

Manicotti traditionally has a filling of cheese — usually ricotta, mozzarella, and parmesan — and an optional spinach stuffed into the pasta shells (via Bon Appétit). Then, a marinara sauce is poured over the filled shells. On the other hand, crepes are made from a batter, and after being cooked on the stovetop, according to Martha Stewart, are wrapped around a sweet or savory filling, such as Nutella or chicken. Crepes usually don't have a sauce, but some people may choose to drizzle a little chocolate syrup over sweet ones.

Crepes may be a classic French food, but it is believed that Caterina de' Medici introduced the French to the crepe, reports Italy Magazine. She was born in Florence, Italy, and was married to the king of France (via Britannica).  Perhaps that is why crespelle has a resemblance to both manicotti and crepes.

Savory or sweet deliciousness

Considered a traditional dish of Florence, Italy, crespelle is often filled with ricotta cheese and spinach, similar to manicotti, per Great Italian Chefs. A plus of preparing crespelle is that it is relatively simple to make and can be made in advance. A party host can also get their guests involved in the stuffing of the crepes before they enjoy their savory or sweet goodness.

The crespelle dough is made of milk, flour, eggs, and salt, and the filling can be whatever suits your mood, according to La Cucina Italiana. Some of the suggested savory fillings are vegetable mousse, cheese, meat, or fish ragù. For a sweeter option, fruit, cream cheese, and whipped cream can be used. 

A recipe from Food & Wine calls for ricotta cheese, parsley, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and marinara sauce. Notably, Bon Appétit's recipe for manicotti uses crespelle instead of pasta shells.