Basil pancakes with tomato ragu from San Francisco

by Carmen Allan-Petale

Although I’ve never been to San Francisco, it’s certainly on our to do list when we drive around the US. In the past this city has been named ‘The Culinary Capital of the US’ which is just one of the many reasons why I’d love to visit!

The city is also close to Napa Valley, which is known for its wine, so not only can you eat great food but you should be able to wash it down with a tasty tipple or two.

Apparently the place is known for its seafood and you can experience the best of it along Pier 39, restaurants surrounding the harbour. However, my recipe is more of a breakfast dish and until we get our asses to San Fran, eating these savoury pancakes might be the closest I’m going to get to tasting what the city has to offer.

To make basil pancakes with tomato ragu:

Melt 20g of butter in a saucepan and cook one finely chopped red onion for a couple of minutes.  Add 220ml of tomato juice and simmer for around 10-12 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken. Season and add in 200g of cherry tomatoes and cook for another five minutes until the skins of the tomatoes begin to split. Before the tomatoes collapse, turn the heat off and stir in a dash of balsamic vinegar.

In a separate bowl, pour 125ml of double cream and mash in 75g of brioche (it doesn’t matter if it’s stale), before stirring in two pre-beaten eggs.

In a food processor, whiz around three large handfuls of basil and a handful of spinach, before adding the brioche mixture. Whiz until the mixture turns a pale green and becomes smooth. Scrape into a bowl and fold in 40g of plain flour.

Cook the pancake mixture as you would regular pancakes, with a teaspoon of butter to grease, giving about a soup spoon-size dollop of mix per pancake. Fry on each side for around 1-2 minutes before serving on a plate and serving with the pre-prepared ragout and a chopped up ball of mozzarella.

*Please note, I used gluten-free flour and brioche

Inspired by Allegra McEvedy

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