I found the original inspiration for this recipe in a book first published in 1994, Essential Italian step-by-step recipes with style.
This pie is delicious.
How delicious? I had a little bit which was leftover for breakfast today and all day I wanted more of the fabulous crust. It was driving me mad. Seriously the best crust I’ve ever made.
So I’ve promised myself I’ll make it again next week. And if I don’t keep my promise I’m going to chuck a tantrum my four year old would be proud of.
You Will Need:
Plain Flour, 250gm
Egg Yolk, 1
Iced Water, 2-3 tablespoons
baking beans or 1 cup of rice
Frozen Spinach Leaves, 500gms
Ricotta Cheese, 500gms
Grated Nutmeg, generous pinch
Salt & Pepper, generous pinch
Parmesan Cheese, 50gm
Step One. Sift 250g plain flour and pinch of salt. Rub in the 125g butter (this means you have to get your fingers in the flour mixture and work the butter in). Add the egg yolk and however much iced water to need to make a lovely soft dough. Be stingy with the iced water, adding a little at a time. Kneed the dough and then refrigerate it for about half an hour.
Step Two. Turn the oven on to 200C, and while that’s heating up grab your rolling pin and get to work on the dough. Once it’s a nice even thickness which will cover the base and walls of your baking dish, get it in there and make it look as nice as you want. I went with a rustic look, because I’m too lazy to fuss about with something I’m just going to attack with a knife and throw on plates for people to further cut up with forks and eventually send to the local treatment plant (there’s a mental image for you). Whatever you decide it will look, smell and taste fantastic.
Step Three. With a fork, prick the base of the pastry in several places, then cover with baking paper. Put either baking beans (NOT baked beans – you don’t make that mistake twice!) or rice onto the baking paper to hold it down (I used about a cup). Bake at 200C for 15 minutes. Remove baking paper and rice/baking beans and bake for a further 5 minutes, then remove the pastry from the oven and turn the temperature down to 180C.
Step Four. Throw your 500g frozen spinach into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for a minute. Drain well, squeezing out the excess water. And I mean really squeezing the hell out of it to remove the excess water. An idea is to put it in a colander and put a bowl on it and push down hard.
Step Five. Beat your 5 eggs and then throw them in a bowl with the spinach, 500g ricotta, and pinches of salt & pepper and nutmeg, then mix roughly. Add the 200ml cream, and mix well again.
Step Six. Spoon the mixture into your lovely smelling base and grate the 50g parmesan over the top. Bake at 180C for 30 minutes.
Step Seven. Serve. To yourself.
Step Eight. Serve. To yourself.
Step Nine. When you’re absolutely sure you’ve had your fill invite the family to come try whatever’s left. But first cut a nice big slice off and hide it in the fridge behind the milk for a snack tomorrow. Trust me, you will thank me for this tip.
If you enjoyed this post please share, like or comment
“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”