Monday, January 19, 2009

Spinach Ricotta Pie


P here. Growing up, when vexed with the what's-for-dinner questions, my mom would often turn to what she'd sometimes call "poor man's quiche". It was not indecision but a ricotta surplus that prompted me to suggest this simple spinach pie for dinner. It's delicious, very easy to make, and paired with a nice salad, it makes a fine weekday dinner.

As fate would have it, one of Lauren's aunts makes a similar though far less cheesy pie around Easter, but hers features raisins and pine nuts. Lauren insisted we toss some in, so what we have here is a hybrid spinach pie. As we don't currently have any kids, you can consider this the best representation to date of the results of our genetic intermingling.

Spinach Ricotta Pie
1 9" pie crust - (savory) recipe of your choice
1 bag/block frozen chopped spinach
1 small container ricotta (about 2 cups?)
1 egg
Locatelli, romano or other grated "macaroni"-type cheese that doesn't come in a green cylinder
nutmeg
black pepper
1/2 C lightly toasted pine nuts (optional)
1/2 C raisins (any type, optional)
2 tbsp butter

First, preheat the oven to 350° and get the spinach cooked. Microwaving according to the package directions is fine. When the spinach is done, DRAIN THOROUGHLY. Putting it in a kitchen towel and wringing it out would be ideal. Just get all the green water out of it.

Roll the pie crust out and mold into pan. Dock the bottom of the crust with a fork and blind bake for about 10 minutes.

While the crust is baking, combine the drained spinach, ricotta, egg, about 1/4 C of the grated cheese, a generous grating of nutmeg, and a few grinds of black pepper. Mix thoroughly. If the mixture appears too wet or liquidy, add a tablespoon or so of flour. Add the nuts and raisins if you are using.

Pop the crust out of the oven and fill with the spinach mixture. Level out the top and sprinkle another 1/4 C or so of grated cheese on top. Cut butter into small cubes and dot the surface. Back into the oven for about 20-30 minutes, or until the top begins to brown. Let stand for a few minutes before enjoying!

1 comment:

pinkstripes said...

What a great way to use spinach. I love ricotta. Thanks for sharing.