1-2 hours preparation time
1 to 2 hours cooking time
- For the pancake batter
- 125g/5oz plain flour
- pinch salt
- 2 free-range eggs
- 125ml/4fl oz milk
- 125ml/4 fl oz water
- 15g/Â½oz butter, melted
- sunflower oil, for oiling the frying pan
- For the tomato sauce
- For the filling
- 300g/11oz fresh mozzarella, grated
- 100g/4oz ricotta
- 25g/1oz parmesan cheese (or other vegetarian grating cheese), finely grated, plus a bit extra, for sprinkling
- For the pancakes, place the flour and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and crack in the eggs.
- Gradually add in the milk and water, whisking all the time, until the batter is smooth and free of lumps.
- Add the melted butter and set aside. The batter can sit like this in the fridge for 24 hours.
- Next make the tomato sauce. Place the olive oil in a wide saucepan, add the onion and garlic, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, cover and cook on a low heat until the onions are completely soft.
- Add the tomatoes and half the basil, leave uncovered and cook for about 20 minutes until the tomatoes are soft and the sauce has thickened. Add the remaining basil and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and the sugar.
- While the tomato sauce is cooking, make the pancakes. Place a medium-sized frying pan on a high heat and allow to become very hot.
- Pour the batter into a jug for easy pouring. Wipe the frying pan with an oiled piece of kitchen paper. 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.
- Cook on a high heat for 30 seconds to one minute until the pancake is golden-brown around the edge.
- Using a fish slice or palette knife, carefully but quickly flip the pancake over (you might need to take the pan off the heat while you do this) and cook the other side for another 30 seconds to one minute until golden-brown. Remove to a plate and cook the remaining pancakes in the same way. You will need a total of eight pancakes.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
- For the filling, mix the cheeses together in a bowl, to make a spreadable paste.
- To assemble, place a pancake on the bottom of a 25cm/10 inch square ovenproof dish, spread with a thin layer of the cheese mixture, top with another pancake and continue assembling, alternating seven layers of pancake and filling. Finish with a top layer of pancake.
- Pour the tomato sauce over the top and sprinkle with the remaining grated parmesan.
- Place in the 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. Take out of the oven, cut into wedges and serve with a green salad.