Torta di Spinaci
Source: Elizabeth Minchilli, author of The Italian Table: Creating Festive Meals for Family and Friends
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on May 4, 2019.
This recipe is called a tart, but it’s really more of a flan, made without a crust. The vegetables are mixed with ricotta and eggs before being baked. The result is similar to a rustic soufflé. If you can find nettles, then by all means use them (make sure to wear gloves when you wash them to avoid being stung). Otherwise, another leafy green like spinach or Swiss chard will do.
About 2 pounds spinach or other greens
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese (cow or sheep milk)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
½ cup whole milk
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated (1 cup)
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram leaves
4 tablespoons salted butter, melted
½ teaspoon sea salt
Few grindings of black pepper
- Place the greens in a pot with about an inch of water and cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until wilted. Drain, and when cool enough to handle, squeeze the greens into a ball, squeezing out every last drop of moisture. You should have about 1 cup. Roughly chop the greens and set aside.
- About an hour before you are going to bake the tart, place the ricotta in a fine sieve and drain it over a bowl to remove the excess whey.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper.
- Put the chopped greens in a clean bowl with the drained ricotta, whole egg and yolk, milk, 3 tablespoons olive oil, ¾ cup of Parmigiano, marjoram, butter, salt, and pepper. Mix well with a fork.
- Pour mixture into the pan, leveling off the top with the back of a spoon. Cover with remaining olive oil and Parmigiano.
- Bake for 50 minutes, until tart begins to brown and is well set. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Loosen sides with a knife and, using an offset spatula, turn it out onto a serving platter. Serve.