This recipe for Spinach Artichoke Ricotta Pie is from Rachael Ray. I've never made a spanakopita-like pie with ricotta cheese before. Thank goodness for the lemon!
I must say the breadcrumbs were genius! That's always been my least favourite part — the mushiness of the spanakopita recipe I have. I will always add breadcrumbs from now on.
Verdict:Again, thank goodness for the lemon! It added great zing to the quite bland ricotta base. I did like the nutmeg (maybe I'm starting to like nutmeg again?), but my heart wanted a bolder flavour. On the second night I put some sliced olives on it and that did the trick. Maybe someone who isn't a peasant at heart like me would find this completely delicious, I just wanted more...
So, next time I make it (maybe tonight, as I still have some ricotta left) I plan to add chopped olives (green) and sun-dried tomatoes. And, to go completely crazy, I think I might reconstitute some of my fancy dried mushroom and add them too. Mmmm... I'm liking this much better now!
Another idea would be to substitute the Romano (Parmesan) cheese with feta and mix it in, but that then is more spanakopita, not so much ricotta pie.
I'll report back with how these changes worked for me.
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- 5 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
- 1 egg
- 1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- Grated nutmeg (about 1/2 teaspoon)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, divided
- 1 box frozen spinach (10 ounces), defrosted
- 1 box frozen artichoke hearts (14 ounces), defrosted and chopped
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 4 12-inch x 17-inch sheets phyllo dough, defrosted
PreparationPre-heat the oven to 400°F.
In a medium size skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and cook the onion and garlic until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.
In a mixing bowl, beat the egg, then add the ricotta, nutmeg, lemon zest, salt, pepper, spinach, artichoke hearts, breadcrumbs and the cooled onion and garlic mixture. Add 3/4 cup of the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Reserve the filling while you prepare the spring-form pan.
Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter and brush the entire inside of pan with it. Line one side of the pan at a time with phyllo: Lay one sheet with the short end in the middle of the bottom of the pan. Drape the rest of the sheet up the side of the pan and over the edge, leaving a good amount of overhang. Brush the section on the bottom of the pan with more butter, then repeat with another sheet of phyllo on the unlined half of the pan, overlapping the sheets a bit in the center.
Sprinkle the phyllo-lined bottom of the pan with remaining Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and season with some pepper. Turn the pan so that one of the draped sides is facing you and repeat the layering action in the opposite direction, leaving you with lots of overhang on all the sides of the pan. Brush with any remaining butter.
With care, transfer the ricotta filling into the phyllo-lined pan; spread it out evenly, from edge to edge, trying not tear the phyllo. Working one at a time, fold each of the draped overhang phyllo sheets over the top of the filling, pressing in down gently. Brush each folded-over sheet with a little more butter.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.
Let cool for about 5 minutes, remove the outer ring of the pan and serve.