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FEATUE: COOKING LOCAL Mama's Spinach Ricotta Pie

October 02, 2009

 

            Mama’s Spinach Ricotta

Pie

 
            For each pie we will need:

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  • 1 refrigerated pie crust (half of 15-ounce package), room

    temperature

  • 1 teaspoon all purpose flour
  • style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt">3 tablespoons butter

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

    into small pieces

  • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed,

    squeezed dry

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2

    teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • "margin: 0in 0in 0pt">½ teaspoon sweet paprika powder
  • 1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounce mozzarella cheese,

    grated

  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3

    large eggs, beaten to blend

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  •  
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Fold out the pie crust once it has come to almost room temperature. I do encourage the more industrious and baking

inclined amongst you to make your own pie crust. It certainly is better homemade. But I wanted to cook this

spinach ricotta pie on a weeknight, and I’m still not all that adept at baking, so I’m going to opt

for the pre-made dough.

 

"margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-indent: 0.25in">As you roll out the crust into the dish, fix any cracks or tears with

a water-moistened finger and push the dough back together. Sprinkle a little flour all over one side of the crust

and place it floured side down in a 9 inch pie pan. A glass or ceramic pan will brown the crust evenly without

burning it.

 
Now take out a nice big cast iron skillet and melt the butter over a medium

heat. Add in the onions and sauté, stirring, until they turn translucent and tender. Meanwhile, make

sure the spinach is thawed and squeezed out in a colander as dry as possible. We don’t want a soggy pie!

 
When the onions are sautéed, stir in the spinach, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Continue to

sauté the mixture until any extra liquid from the spinach evaporates, which should only take a few more

minutes. Then set the pan aside.

 

style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-indent: 0.25in">Now beat the eggs in the bottom of a large bowl. Add in the

ricotta, mozzarella, and parmasean and mix until uniform. Add in the spinach on onions mixture and blend

well. Now scoop in the filling into the pie pan. No need to par-bake the dough for this type of pie.

style="margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-indent: 0.25in"> 

Fill the crust until it is within ½ inch of the rim. Now spoon in the plain yogurt and smooth it

out evenly over the whole pie. Finally, generously sprinkle the yogurt with paprika, which will brown nicely and

add some color in the oven.

 

"margin: 0in 0in 0pt; text-indent: 0.25in">Speaking of which, let’s pop this puppy into the oven for about

40 miunutes, until the filling is set and doesn’t jiggle too much when gently shaken. The yogurt should have

browned a bit and lost enough of its moisture to form a few cracks. When the pie is done, let it stand for at

least 10 minutes before cutting into slices and serving.

 
So there you have the classic spinach

ricotta pie recipe. But I happen to have a nice bunch of local leeks and shallots, which both have a sweeter taste

than regular onions, so we’ll use a bit of each. I also have some local goat parmesan and feta, which will

make an awesome addition. Feel free to try out this recipe using other greens or even other veggies, so long as

they don’t have too much moisture.

 
 
 

 

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