Here is one of my first FB live cooking classes making a traditional Spinach and Ricotta Flan,a sformata.They are commonly made with a base of bechamel instead of the ricotta. In Tuscany, we have such lovely ricotta and it is used in many ways, Crespelle alla Fiorentina, Ravioli Gnudi or a Torta Pasqualina. On this video I showed the basic spinach and ricotta base and then tweeked it and also made the Ravioli Gnudi, a personal favorite.
Inspired by my trip to the USA and my culinary conference I attended, I want to start to do some cooking class videos. Since I closed my school, I miss teaching and this seems a nice way to continue sharing my passion for culture and cooking. Preserving the traditional recipes.
Florentines use spinach,chard and other greens often in their cooking paired with fresh ricotta cheese. Ravioli filling, Crepes, the “naked ravioli” are a few. Twice cooked spinach and chard are simple preferred side dishes for most meals and easy to prepare as we can buy precooked greens, already boiled, just needing the second cooking. Normally we saute’ garlic and olive oil, then add the greens. How can you not love them?
I remember recipes called Florentine style always had spinach in them, don’t be surprised instead to see peas being used in Florence. The French codified the recipes and named them. Two women from the Medici family married French kings and brought their staff with them to France when they moved. They always used cooked greens hence the name. We can get into the debate about how many Florentine recipes are now French recipes, but I will save that for another blog post!
Here is the link to the video on my youtube channel. Please sign up to follow me there are some more video’s from this new series and lots of smaller older video’s too.
- Spinach and Ricotta Flan
- 300 grams/ 9 ounces of cooked greens, spinach or chard are traditional
- 300 grams/9 ounces of ricotta ( I used sheep’s milk from a local farm. If your ricotta is dry, whip with with a couple of tablespoons of cream or milk, but it should not be too wet.
- 1/2 cup of grated parmigiano reggiano
- 1 whole egg
- olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare the molds for the flans. I use the little metal cupcake size molds.
- Lightly grease and then dust with breadcrumbs.
- Place the chopped greens in a large bowl with the ricotta and mix until blended.
- Stir in the parmigiano reggiano.
- Add the whole egg, when you start to mix it in, the mixture will get creamy. Keep mixing until it is all incorporated evenly.
- Place the mixture into the molds and place the molds into a baking dish.
- Pour boiling water in the baking dish to about halfway up the molds.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Remove and let sit a few minutes.
- To serve, with out without a sauce, use a small knife and run it around the inside of the mold to be sure nothing is sticking to the sides.
- Turn the flans onto their serving dishes.
- They are perfect to make ahead and reheat the next day.