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ricotta and spinach recipe mix

April 16, 2009

spinachSo you’ve bought a heap of milk, simmered with buttermilk, skimmed, drained, salted and dried. And now you have your very own, home made lump of ricotta. You’ve made one batch and eaten the lot in pancakes, on toast and with fruit. You’ve made another batch and given it away to friends. And now there’s more of it. “What to do now?” you think to yourself. Well try this. Introducing one easy recipe that can be used in a variety of situations and circumstances. It won’t do much for you when you’ve got a leaking toilet, a sick rabbit and an exam the next morning, but it’s a great thing to have in store when you have people on their way over for a “quick bite”. Especially if those people know you as the-one-who-makes-good-things-for-eating.

imagenamespinach, sans stalk

ricotta & spinach recipe mix
 
Ingredients
  • one bunch of english spinach
  • 100g pine nuts
  • 200g ricotta
  • 100g mild, melty yellow cheese (I used a fresco pecorino)
  • 1 egg
  • salt & pepper
How to make it
  1. see steps with images below

method:

1. There’s no two ways about it. Spinach is a gritty, dirty vegetable. So you’ll have to clean it up. Best way? Pull all the leaves apart and rinse them. Done that? Now stick the rinsed leaves in a colander and put the colander in a bigger bowl of water. Now soak, turning the leaves every once in a while. When you pull the colander up and out of the bowl of water, you’ll see all the dirt you almost missed. Eeeeyeurgh!

trimming spinachremoving the stems

2. We only need the leaves for this recipe, so cut the tough stalky bit away. This may take a while. It is also a little tricky, so don’t get too caught up trying to remove all the veins. Getting rid of the central stalk should be sufficient. You can feed this bit to your bunny. Or boil it up with carrots etc for a vege stock.

spinach in a potspinach pre-cooking

3. You should have about 350g of spinach once they’re all sans-stalk. Shake each leaf lightly and put it in a pot. We don’t want them dripping wet or totally dry. If the water clings to the leaf, it gets to stay with the leaf.

spinach in a potspinach post-cooking

4. Put the pot over a low heat and stick the lid on. Check it every couple of minutes. It’ll end up looking much smaller than it did when you first started with it. Turn the heat off when the spinach is cooked all the way through.

spinach squeezed and choppedspinach: squeezed & chopped

5. Let the spinach cool for a little while and then squeeze as much moisture out as you can with your hands. This will be hot, so please be careful. Nothing worse than hands that smell like spinach that are also burnt.

6. All squeezed out? Great. Now chop it up roughly. It likes it rough. Plus it’ll get minced later on.

pine nuts in a panpine nuts: pre-roasting

7. While all this is happening, perhaps when you’re waiting for the spinach to cool, or maybe after it’s all chopped, toss your pine nuts in a pan over low heat. No butter/oil/fat ok? Just nuts. Good? Good.

pine nuts in a panpine nuts: post-roasting

8. Toss them around every once in a while. After a couple of minutes, you’ll start to smell lovely nutty smells. That’s the oil being released. And you’ll have to watch carefully from this point on. Toss Toss Toss. Check. Squish. When the nuts have a lovely brown (but not burnt) exterior and squish easily between your finger & thumb, they’re ready. So pull ’em off the heat.

pine nuts in a processorgrind ’em up!

9. It’s all easy going from here. Toss the pine nuts in a food processor and whiz til they’re broken up a bit. Not too fine – we want to be able to feel them when we’re eating.

add cheese & spinachwhizzwhizzwhurrrr!

10. Next, the two cheeses and the spinach. Go whirrrrrrrr! Again, not too fine, just until the cheese is broken up and happily distributed amongst the carnage.

add one eggadd the egg

11. Finally the egg. For binding goodness. Again, just til its incorporated.

finished mixthe finished mix!

12. And we’re done! Voila –ย ricotta and spinach mix!ย This mix can be packed up into an airtight container and frozen, or used fresh from the processor. “Used for what?” you ask. For many things. Really! Like my Ricotta & Spinach Ravioli


  • #1
    Betty
    April 16th, 2009

    haha. “the-one-who-makes-good-things-for-eating” – the pressure!!

    this looks like it would be very versatile.. looking forward to seeing where it might pop up next ๐Ÿ™‚

  • #2
    Stephcookie
    April 16th, 2009

    I’m excited to see what this goes into! Awesome that you can just freeze it and use it whenever you fancy.

  • #3
    Arwen from Hoglet K
    April 16th, 2009

    Mmm, yummy cheese and spinach. It’s extra good to hear that you can freeze it.

  • #4
    Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella
    April 17th, 2009

    Spinach and cheese is an excellent combo, one of my favourites and it always feels a bit healthier than a mince filling for a cannelloni too! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • #5
    FFichiban
    April 17th, 2009

    MMMMMMMMmmmm I love spinach and cheese ^^! I am foresee some palak paneer, spinach and ricotta cannelloni, triangles/pastries and of course a pie or 2 ๐Ÿ˜‰ mmm

  • #6
    smileona
    April 18th, 2009

    YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
    SHEZ why arent you a CHEF?????

    my sister makes spinach and ricotta pastry rolls its sooo yummyyyyy cant wait to seee the leading entry to this

  • #7
    shez
    April 20th, 2009

    Betty: don’t all food-lovin people get tagged with that moniker? it’s not a bad one by all means. just high pressure ๐Ÿ™‚

    Stephcookie: yuhuh – and oh how i love the freezer…

    Arwen: alls i need to do now is learn to make fetta for that extra bite. yum.

    Lorraine: hear hear to that. the resident meat-a-saurus didn’t even complain about the lack of meat. bril!

    FFichiban: you read my mind ๐Ÿ™‚

    smileona: isn’t it good with pastry? loveit! (and thanks for being so nice… i’m just an amateur!)

  • #8
    tanvir
    October 27th, 2014

    can you skip the fresco pecorino? what is the most suitable alternative? thanks

  • October 29th, 2014

    Hi Tanvir,

    You can skip the fresco pecorino if you’re not a cheese fan, but if you needed to replace it with something I’d suggest any soft, mild sheep cheese.

Shez