Spinach and ricotta pie

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On the weekend, we went to Gembrook Farmers and Craft market. Such a beautiful part of Victoria and a great time of year to head into the Dandenong Ranges – lots of beautiful colours in the trees with yellows, reds and greens. Just a stunning landscape with deep valleys and winding roads! So peaceful! And its only 1 hour from Melbourne! What a beautiful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

We picked up some home grown spinach and amazing farm fresh eggs and I knew when I saw them that a spinach and ricotta pie was in order. And let me tell you, you have never tasted anything so fresh and delicate like this! Don’t get me wrong, you can use supermarket bought spinach but you can certainly taste the difference using the fresh produce!

The only thing I was disappointed with is that I didn’t buy fresh ricotta! I had a tub of ricotta sitting in the fridge for something else I was going to do a few weeks back but never got around to it! Trust me, the pie still tasted amazing and it’s something that I keep perfecting every time I make it!

You can make a spanakopita with filo pastry but all I had in the freezer was puff pastry. This pie still had plenty of crunch and puff to it. This was a wonderful adaptation to a traditional spanakopita.

INGREDIENTS:
1 bunch spinach
75 grams feta
325 grams ricotta
½ cup (40 grams) parmesan, finely grated
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 eggs
3 spring onions, chopped
2½ sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed and rolled thin
25 grams melted butter

METHOD:
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Cut out the stems of the spinach. Wash leaves and drain well. Coarsely shred and set aside.

Place the feta in a large bowl and mash with a fork. Add the ricotta, parmesan, eggs, pepper and spring onions. Mix with the fork to combine. Place the spinach in the bowl, gradually and mix lightly with your hands.

Once the puff pastry has thawed, roll out until thin. Roll together one and a half sheets of puff pastry, to form the bottom layer. Butter your baking dish with half the butter and line your baking dish with that sheet of puff pastry. Tip the spinach and ricotta mixture evenly onto the base and fold the excess pastry onto the spinach mixture. Top with the remaining sheet of puff pastry and brush with butter. Tuck the excess pastry into the sides of the baking dish.

Score the pastry, using a sharp knife, to allow air to escape while baking. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until golden on top. Gently shake the baking dish – the pie should slide if cooked. Place on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before serving.

Sit back and enjoy this beautiful dish.

Serves 4-6 people

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