Thursday, February 12, 2009

Spinach-Ricotta Pie

Yes, yes, it’s another Moosewood recipe. I had actually wanted to do this one last week, but surprisingly didn’t have enough onion. So now I have two and a half just in case that same problem tries to come up again.

For tips on doing the pie crust, check out my post when I made pumpkin and apple pies for Thanksgiving here. The crust used for this recipe is pretty good, but if I do this again, I’ll use the other one. It’s a little flakier and easier to work with. I did enjoy this pie quite a bit and the filling was really easy to put together. I cheated a bit and used frozen spinach instead of fresh, but I think that made the cooking part just a little easier. If you also chose the cheater route, make sure the spinach is fully drained before you use it.

Spinach-Ricotta Pie from The New Moosewood Cookbook:

Serves 4-6

For the crust-
6 Tb. butter, cut into small pieces
1½ c. flour
About 4 Tb. cold water (or milk or buttermilk)

For the filling-
1 tsp. butter
1 c. minced onion
1 lb. spinach, stemmed and finely chopped
½ tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 tsp. basil
1 lb. ricotta cheese
2 or 3 beaten eggs (I used two)
3 Tb. flour
½ c. packed grated sharp cheese of your choice (I used cheddar)
A dash of nutmeg (optional. I love how nutmeg mixes with cheeses, so I chose to do this)
Optional toppings (1 c. sour cream, lightly beaten and paprika. I just used the paprika.)

Use a pastry cutter, two forks, or a food processor to cut together the butter and flour until the mixture is uniformly blended and resemble coarse cornmeal. Add just enough liquid to hold the dough together. Roll out the dough and form a crust in a 9-or-10-inch pie pan. Mine’s 9.5”. I find this very funny for some reason. Set aside.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Melt the butter in a medium-sized skillet, add the onion, and sauté for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the spinach, salt, pepper, and basil, and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until the spinach is wilted. Since my spinach was frozen and fairly wilted to begin with, I let this cook for about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.

Combine all the filling ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Spread into the unbaked pie shell. For an extra rich pie, top with sour cream and spread to the edges of the crust. Dust generously with paprika. I love paprika, so I just dusted it with paprika.

Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until firm to the touch at the center. Mine was done at 40 minutes even. Serve, hot, warm, or at room temperature.

This is very tasty and filling. I meant to serve it with salad, but was so hungry I just dug in and now I’m stuffed. Good thing there’s a lot of spinach in there! My husband suggested adding chicken next time, which I think would go very well with the spinach and ricotta. I think this would also make a great filling for calzones.

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