Abbe Lane's Cannelloni a la Romani
For the Sauce:
Use canned marinara sauce or prepare the following:
3 tablespoons olive oil (or sweet butter)
small stalk celery (with leaves), minced
small yellow onion, chopped
handful parsley, minced
clove garlic, pressed
small can of tomato paste
Salt, freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
small bay leaf
1 can Italian plum tomatoes, flavored with basil
Heat oil (or butter) in saucepan. Add celery, onion, parsley and garlic; cook over low heat until vegetables begin to brown. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, seasonings and herbs; simmer gently about 40 minutes. Set aside.
For the crepe batter:
1 cup cold water
1 cup cold milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour
1/4 cup melted butter
Put water, milk, eggs and salt in mixing bowl. Beat well. Beat in flour, blending well. Add melted butter (cooled to room temperature). Mix; cover bowl, refrigerate several hours.
Brush a 6 1/2-inch skillet (or crepe pan) lightly with olive oil, heat until fat is sizzling; remove from heat. Place about 2 tablespoons batter in center of pan, tilt pan, spreading batter evenly over entire surface. Cook 70 seconds over medium heat until bubbles form and crepe begins to lightly brown at edges. Remove from heat; flip crepe over; brown lightly for about 30 seconds. Remove to heated platter. Repeat using remaining batter.
For the filling:
1 pound fresh spinach (washed and dried well on paper towels)
1 pound sausage
1 pound ground lean round
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt, freshly ground pepper to taste.
Cook spinach in boiling salted water until just barely tender. Drain well; squeeze with hands to remove excess moisture. Chop spinach, set aside. Brown sausage and meat in oil, remove from heat. Add beaten eggs, spinach, cheese, salt and pepper to the meat mixture. Place about 1 tablespoon filling in center of crepe; roll up jelly-roll fashion leaving both ends open. Repeat using up crepes and fillings. Arrange filled crepes in shallow greased baking pan. Spoon sauce over top. Sprinkle generously with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Run under broiler to brown. Serves 8.
Thoughts: For lighter fare, use a Mornay sauce (cream sauce flavored with nutmeg and grated Parmesan cheese.) Stuffing can be made pungent with the addition of oregano, basil and a small amount of chopped onion (browned slowly with the meat.)
Abbe Lane's Zabaione
8 egg yolks
1/4 cup raw sugar (or granulated white sugar)
1 cup Marsala wine
1 tbsp. brandy
1 tbsp. cold water
Combine egg yolks and sugar in top of double boiler. Please double boiler over heat, beating well. Increase the heat until mixture is slightly thickened. Remove from the heat. Add brandy, beating well, heat in double boiler; remove from heat. Add water slowly; return double boiler to low heat; beat and cook until thick and frothy. Do not boil. Serve hot or cold. Pour into wine glasses to serve 8.