An Italian Twist to Pancake Day: Pancake Nidi

12 Feb, 2013

Pancakes – they’re so good, we should be able to have them for every meal! Now how about layering some pancakes with prosciutto, ricotta, courgette, mozzarella and basil, rolling it all up and letting it all melt together in the oven? Well we promise this mouth-watering “nest” of Italian goodness will be a flavour sensation?  This Pancake ‘nidi’ recipe is an inspired and simple dinner option for you to celebrate Pancake Day with a twist!

For the pancake batter:
1 cup plain flour
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 tbsp cube butter melted, plus extra for frying is necessary.

For the filling:
250g ricotta cheese
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
6 slices of prosciutto
1 courgette, peeled and sliced into 1cm thick pieces
125g of buffalo mozzarella, chopped
Handful of dried tomatoes, about 16, hydrated previously with warm water
Handful of basil leaves chopped

To make the pancakes:
Beat the flour, milk and the egg together until you have a smooth, thin batter. If necessary, gradually add more milk.
Place a non-stick skillet on high heat. Brush some butter on it to prevent the batter from sticking.  Measure a ladle of batter and pour into the skillet, quickly spreading the mix to the edges of the pan with a circular motion.
Once the pancake is set (after a few minutes), flip over and cook through. You will need 6 big pancakes to put together the rolls. (The rest you can leave to spread some Nutella on and have for dessert!)
Lay three pancakes in a line on a clean tea towel overlapping them slightly and brushing the edges with melted butter to help them stick (don’t skip this step or you will have a hard time rolling them without the filling falling out.  Then make a second row of three pancakes layering on top of the first (don’t leave gaps). You will be left with a sort-of rectangle.

To make the filling and prepare the roll:
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
Place the ricotta, basil, and lemon zest in a bowl and mix. Taste and season with some salt and pepper. Mix again and spread a thin layer over the pancakes, leaving a 2.5 cm border around the pancakes without filling (this is for rolling purposes).
Lay the prosciutto over the top followed by shreds of mozzarella. Try to keep the layers quite flat and not piled too high.
Next cook the courgettes in a hot griddle pan until charred, without adding any oil. Season with salt and pepper, chop into small pieces and drizzle with a little oil.
Scatter your chopped vegetables onto the pancakes and drizzle a bit of olive oil on top of it all.
Now comes the tricky part. With the shorter side of the pancake ‘rectangle’ facing you, use the tea towel gently but firmly to roll the pancake. Place your roll onto a chopping board and using a large, sharp knife, trim off the ends and cut the roll into 8 disks of around 3 cm thick. Place each disk flat in an oiled ovenproof dish, drizzle with olive oil and scatter some parmesan cheese on it if you’d like it to be extra cheesy. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the top is golden.
You can serve the nidi under a layer of tomato sauce.

We love this recipe because it allows you to be as creative as you wish! Don’t like some of the fillings? No worries! You can play around with the ingredients and the flavours that you love most to make your own personal Pancake ‘Nidi’!


Can’t get enough pancakes? Check out some more pancake recipes brought to you by Winerist especially for Pancake Day!


Bacon Jalapeno Hoecakes for Pancake Day

Good ‘Ol Fluffy Pancakes

Straight from Argentina: Dulce de Leche Pancakes


*This recipe was inspired by the Michael Chiappa pancakes from Simply Italian.

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