“There is a dish in Emilia near Modena called borlenghi that’s not done anywhere else. As in, it’s not even known or heard of outside that region. And it’s maybe the best ‘fast food’ I’ve ever had. The only way to describe borlenghi (the plural, which is key, because no one has ever eaten just one) is a cross between a crepe and a dosa. Thinner and more delicate than either, it makes more mess than the flakiest pastry. The traditional filling is ground prosciutto fat and parmigiano-reggiano (with a little fresh rosemary thrown in). It is made in two ways. One is to pour the batter very thinly in a hot copper pan (similar to making crepes), and the other method (my preferred, for its paper-like thinness) is to spray the hot pan with the batter, using a water bottle or mist gun. As it crisps up, it’s flipped over, and before it’s finished cooking, the prosciutto/parmigiano mixture is lightly spread on top. It’s folded three or four times and eaten like this.”
6½ to 7½ cups water
1½ cups “00” flour
4 tbsp mild olive oil
200 g lardo
100 g pancetta
1 clove garlic
1 sprig rosemary
1. With a whisk or hand blender, mix all batter ingredients until smooth and leave to rest in fridge for a few hours. The batter should be quite runny/loose. Loose enough to spray from a water spray bottle.
2. To make a traditional filling, grind all filling ingredients together into a paste.
3. Put batter in a spray bottle. Set a thick-bottomed copper or cast iron pan on medium heat. Once pan is hot, spray batter mixture to cover pan. When batter is slightly browned, flip and continue cooking until crispy. Quickly spread the filling very thinly overtop. Fold the borlengho in half, then again in half, and again.