Spinach Ricotta Pie. Creamy, cheesy, and delicious.
Great served hot or cold. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, or carpool snack.
You might know that when I’m not here cooking, I’m most often playing my flute in an orchestra. It’s a little crazy. Several times a year, I get on a plane, fly from Florida to Minnesota, then get in a car and drive from Minneapolis to Duluth.
The Happy Carpool is usually some combination of flute, clarinet, trombone, and tuba players. We’re all great friends and, as a bonus, love to cook and eat and talk about food. We’re always on the road at dinner time and it gets a little tricky because the choices for good food on glorious Interstate 35 are somewhat limited. Fast food selections range from bad to downright gross so it didn’t take long to start brown bagging it for dinner.
Somewhere along the way, about a year ago, and without much discussion or planning, instead of everyone bringing their own sandwiches and snacks, The Happy Carpool dinner morphed into The Happy Carpool Potluck!
Jen, of chicken curry and squash apple bisque fame can always be counted on for amazing cookies and something unusual like spring rolls, hummus, or even vegetable sushi. Apparently I missed the concert week where they had a Greek festival in the car complete with individual servings of spanakopita. I’ll try not to hold that against them.
For our last week of concerts this year, we really lived it up! My friend Rena outdid herself with two amazing dishes – Rhubarb Coffee Cake and this fantastic Spinach Ricotta Pie. One taste and I was begging (successfully) for the recipes.
Here’s what you need:
Eggs, Butter, Onion, Frozen Spinach, Ricotta Cheese, Fontina Cheese (or Mozzarella), Parmesan or Romano Cheese, Nutmeg, Salt & Pepper.
This pie is very much like a crustless quiche but without as many eggs as a traditional quiche. The ricotta makes the filling smooth and creamy and the other varieties of cheese make it awesome.
This is super quick and easy to put together. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Melt 3 Tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Chop 1 medium onion, add it to the pan, and saute until soft but not browned – about 5 minutes.
Thaw a 10 ounce box of frozen chopped spinach. I like to do this in the microwave – just but the frozen block of spinach in a bowl with a tiny bit of water, cover, and zap for about 4 minutes. When the spinach has thawed, let it cool to the touch and then squeeze out as much water as possible until the spinach is mostly dry.
Add the spinach to the pan of onions. Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg (about 1/4 teaspoon). Continue to cook on medium low until for another few minutes until all of the liquid has cooked out of the spinach. Take it off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes while you prepare the rest of the filling.
In a large bowl, combine 1 (15 ounce) carton of ricotta cheese with 1 cup of grated fontina and 1 cup of grated romano cheese. The original recipe called for mozzarella and parmesan but I like the slightly nutty, more flavorful taste of fontina and the sharpness of Pecorino Romano. Stir until the cheese is well mixed.
In a small bowl, lightly beat 3 eggs to break up the yolks.
Pour the eggs into the cheese and stir to thoroughly combine.
Add the spinach mixture to the cheese and stir to blend all of the ingredients together.
Grease or spray a 9 inch pie pan with non-stick spray. Pour the filling into the pan and use a spatula to smooth out the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and the middle is set. I used a toothpick to test the middle just as you would a cake. When the spinach pie is done, the toothpick should come out almost clean with just a few crumbs.
Allow the pie to cool for 10 minutes so that it sets up enough to cut cleanly. Cut into wedges and serve.
I made this for brunch with link sausages and mixed fruit. However, if I’m being honest, I think it was even BETTER the next day cold, right out of the fridge. Cheesy, a little tangy, and delicious.
Here’s the recipe – Adapted from Bon Appetit and Rena Kraut