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Scrippelle Crepes

Scrippelle Crepes

“Scrippelle”, a typical Teramo recipe, are a sort of crêpe made with flour, eggs and water. To prepare the “scrippelle” (or “screppelle”), eggs and flour are mixed and diluted with half a glass of water per egg. The frying pan is greased with lard or oil and left to drain briefly, then a ladleful of crêpe mix is poured into the pan and cooked over a low flame, to make very thin pancakes. These crêpes are served either “‘mbusse”, which means “wet”, in chicken broth or are used to make the exquisite traditional local dish “timballo alla teramana”: layers of “scrippelle” (instead of sheets of egg pasta) alternate with a rich sauce, which can be either white with fried artichokes (or spinach or peas) and scamorza cheese, or a red sauce of minced beef, lamb and pork (200g per person), tomato, onion, carrot, Parmesan cheese and eggs beaten with milk. This same condiment can also be used for “cannelloni” (the “scrippelle” are stuffed with a meat or spinach and ricotta filling, then rolled) and also for “fagottini” (empty or folded over with the same filling as the “cannelloni”). There is an amusing debate that absorbs local experts, with regard to the preparation of “timballo”, in particular on whether to use “screppelle” or classic sheets of egg pasta. Undoubtedly, the Teramo “timballo”, made with “scrippelle” is far the tastiest. In any case, the layered pasta will be cooked in an oven preheated to 160°C, for about an hour usually, until the heat has blended everything together and formed a light crust on the top. Very probably these are a revised derivation of French crêpes (as mentioned in an article published in the magazine “Abruzzo enogastronomico”, Year VIII no. 3, entitled “La cucina francese …una bella favola” … in other words “French cuisine… a beautiful fable”). The “mbusse” version, served in broth, is a typical Teramo area recipe, and was invented by a local cook, however: Messer Enrico dei Castorani, who helped a French cook working in an officer’s mess in Teramo. Instead of bread the French cook gave his customers “crêpes” because he considered them more agreeable and appetising than the coarse corn and rye breads produced at that time of scarcity. By pure chance, a dish full of crêpes that Messer Enrico dei Castorani was preparing, fell into a recipient full of broth. Not knowing how to remedy the situation the Teramo cook had the idea of serving this delicious mixture of crêpes and chicken broth instead of the soup alone. It seems that this is how Teramo’s “scrippelle ‘mbusse” were invented. This dish has certainly been in production for at least 25 years, using traditional methods, as confirmed by Rino Faranda in his “Gastronomia Teramana“ (Edizione Tercas - Teramo 1978).

 

Source: Atlas of Abruzzo’s traditional products – ARSSA - Regional Agency for Abruzzo’s agriculture development

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