Italian Baked Pancakes with Cheese and Tomato

Serves 4


  • Pancake Batter (makes 8 )
    • 125g (5ozs) flour
    • pinch salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 125ml (4fl ozs) milk
    • 125ml (4fl ozs) water
    • 15g (1/2 oz) butter, melted
    • sunflower oil for greasing the frying pan
  • Tomato Sauce
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 medium onion, sliced finely
    • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely grated
    • salt, pepper and sugar
    • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes or 900g (2lbs) peeled and chopped red ripe tomatoes
    • 3 tablespoons torn basil leaves
  • Filling
    • 150g (6ozs) ball of mozzarella, grated
    • 150g (6ozs) ricotta
    • 25g (1oz) finely grated Parmesan cheese
    • 25g (1oz) finely grated Parmesan cheese


  • First make the pancakes. 
    1. Place the flour and salt in a bowl.  
    2. Make a well n the centre and drop the eggs into the centre. 
    3. Then starting to whisk the eggs, add in the milk and water gradually whisking all the time, until the batter is smooth and free of lumps. 
    4. Add in the melted butter and set aside. 
    5. The batter can sit like this in the fridge for 24 hours.
  • Next make the tomato sauce.
    1. Place the olive oil in a wide saucepan, add the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper then cover and cook on a low heat until the onions are completely soft.
    2. Add the tomatoes and half of the basil, leave uncovered and cook for about 20 minutes until the tomatoes are soft and the sauce has thickened.
    3. Add the remaining herbs, season to taste.
    4. While the tomato sauce is cooking you can cook the pancakes.  Place a frying pan on a high heat and allow to get very hot.
    5. Pour the batter into a jug for easy pouring.  Wipe the frying pan with an oiled piece of kitchen paper.
    6. Pour in just enough batter to cover the base of the pan, it will start to cook as soon as it hits the pan so swirl it around the base immediately.
    7. Cook it on a high heat for a 1/2 – 1 minute until it’s golden brown around the edge.
    8. Using a fish slice or palette knife, carefully but quickly flip the pancake over (you might need to take the pancake off the heat while you do this) and cook on the second side for another 1/2 – 1 minute until golden brown.
    9. Remove to a plate and cook the remaining pancakes in the same way.Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
    10. Mix the cheeses together in a bowl, to make a spreadable paste. 
    11. To assemble the dish, place a pancake on the bottom of an ovenproof dish, spread with one-seventh of the cheese mixture, top with another pancake and continue assembling like this
    12. Finish with a pancake on the very top.  Pour the tomato sauce over the top, sprinkle with the remaining 25g (1oz) grated Parmesan and place in the preheated oven (though it can also be stored in the fridge overnight or frozen at this stage), bake for 30 – 40 minutes until the sauce is bubbling around the edges and the centre feels hot when a skewer is inserted.
    13. Take out of the oven, cut into wedges and serve with a lovely green salad.