Chef Don Bingham turns crepes into a fettuccine ‘impasta’

By Chef Don Bingham

It’s Thanksgiving season, and all hearts turn to home and harvest! It’s a favorite time for feasting and family, for a celebration of blessings, and for the recognition of our rich heritage through the centuries. Our time-honored recipes make their way to the dining tables with great pomp and flair. New twists on vegetable side dishes and passed-down family recipes make their annual appearance. 

Photos by Mike Kemp

This year we will add a new version of an old favorite. This recipe of Chocolate Fettuccini first appeared on the menu of my former restaurant, Zinzendorf’s Tea Room, many years ago, and we wanted to share this showstopper with our readers for your consideration. The recipe is a take-off of the ever-popular fettuccine pasta, but made with crepes cut into fettuccine style strips, then tossed with sweetened heavy cream and finished with a rich sauce. 

For the holidays, we will do a pumpkin fettuccine with lemon sauce and a chocolate fettuccini with chocolate sauce. The crepes are not intimidating to produce, and electric crepe makers are available, but we use a small non-stick skillet that works just as well. The crepes may be made the day before, refrigerated and cut into strips before presentation, and tossed with whipped heavy cream. The sauces also may be made days ahead and kept in the refrigerator. 

We look forward to the meals we will share as a family and with friends, the times of special giving of thanks, as each year becomes more precious in recognition of how richly blessed we all are, and in the delight of expressing this gratitude in so many ways. May your times of faith, feasting and fellowship be rich with the joys of gratitude this Thanksgiving!

Chocolate Fettuccine

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/3 cup pre-sweetened instant cocoa powder

OR 1 1/4 cups chocolate milk

2 eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. cooking oil

1 tsp. vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Beat with a rotary mixer until blended. Heat a greased 6-inch skillet, buttered with a small pat of butter and swirled to coat before pouring in batter. Pour batter from measuring cup, two Tbsp. or 1/4 cup of batter, into the center of the skillet. Crepes will be thin and cook quickly. Turn crepes to cook on both sides. Lift and tilt the skillet to spread batter. Return to heat; brown on both sides. Batter will yield 8-10 crepes.

Chocolate Sauce

1/2 cup cocoa

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup light cream

3 Tbsp. butter

Pinch of salt

Boil all ingredients for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 tsp. vanilla. 

Cut crepes with a sharp knife into thin strips. Toss with sweetened whipped cream. Drizzle with chocolate sauce over fettuccine. Top with cherry, if desired.

Pumpkin Fettuccine

1 1/4 cups whole milk

2 eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. cooking oil

1 tsp. vanilla 

1/3 cup of pumpkin puree

Dash of nutmeg (if desired)

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Beat with a rotary mixer until blended. Heat a greased 6-inch skillet, buttered with a small pat of butter and swirled to coat before pouring in batter. Pour batter from measuring cup, two Tbsp. or 1/4 cup of batter, into the center of the skillet. Crepes will be thin and cook quickly. Turn crepes to cook on both sides. Lift and tilt the skillet to spread batter. Return to heat; brown on both sides. Batter will yield 8-10 crepes.

Lemon Butter Sauce

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice of two lemons)

1/4 cup of butter or margarine

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cut crepes with a sharp knife into thin strips. Drizzle sauce over sliced crepes.

Don Bingham