Molded Spinach / Lo Sformato di Spinaci
Dense sformato di spinaci is easy to put together and impressive looking when done in small individual molds. Vary the cheeses in the filling from Parmigiano-Reggiano to Italian Fontina or mozzarella.
Nutmeg seems to be the perennial partner of spinach wherever I travel in the central and northern regions of Italy and the addition of heavy cream creates a pleasing velvety texture. Serve the spinach molds as a side dish with meat or fish entrees.
- INGREDIENTSThree 10-ounce bags spinach, stemmed, washed and drained
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
- DIRECTIONSCoat eight 3 by 1 1/2-inch deep ramekins or heavy-duty foil cups with butter spray and refrigerate.
- Preheat oven to 325ºF.
- Working in two batches, wilt the spinach leaves in a covered sauté pan, without any additional water, for about 3 minutes. Drain the spinach in a colander and use a wooden spoon to squeeze as much of the water out of the leaves as possible.
- Return the sauté pan to the burner and melt the butter. Stir in the spinach, salt, nutmeg and heavy cream and cook the mixture, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes or until thickened.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let cool for 10 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with a hand mixer until frothy. Stir in the cheese and bread crumbs.
- Stir the egg mixture into the spinach mixture, blending well.
- Divide the spinach mixture between the ramekins and place them on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Remove the molds from the oven and invert them onto a serving dish. Unmold and serve immediately.
- For an interesting sauce: Puree 1 pound of yellow tomatoes and then strain the puree to remove the seeds. Sauté 3 tablespoons diced onion and 1 small clove of minced garlic in 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil until soft. Add the pureed tomatoes and mix well. If desired, add 1/3 cup dry white wine or heavy cream and salt to taste. Simmer for 25 minutes. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to 3 months.
This recipe was featured on Season 10 - Episode 1005.
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