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Baked Ricotta and Spinach Tart

Source: The Union Square Café Cookbook
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Active Time:  35 Minutes
Total Time:  3 Hours 55 Minutes
  Serves 6 to 8
Inspired by a treasured Romano family recipe, this savory deep-dish tart is wonderful as an appetizer or as a meal in itself accompanied by a crisp salad. Served on the side, hot Tomato Coulis further enlivens the tart.
30 ounces whole-milk ricotta cheese (4 cups)
2 cups all-purpose flour
12 tablespoons (1-1/2 sticks) butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
5 tablespoons ice water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound spinach, stemmed and cleaned
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup peeled and diced onion
1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh marjoram
1/4 pound prosciutto, diced (1 cup)
3 large eggs
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
FOR RICOTTA: Place the ricotta in a strainer lined with cheesecloth and allow to drain over a bowl, covered and refrigerated, for 2 hours.

FOR TART: Combine the flour and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt in a bowl. Add the chilled butter and, using your fingertips or two knives, blend until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Work in the ice water until the dough holds together. Form the dough into a smooth, flat disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Lightly flour a clean work surface and roll the dough into a 16--inch disk. Place the rolled-out dough into a 10 x 2-1/2 -inch-deep cake pan or springform mold. Pressing with your fingertips, flute the top edges of the dough. Place in the freezer and chill thoroughly, about 30 minutes.

FOR SPINACH: In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over high heat and sauté the spinach, stirring constantly until wilted, about 2 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and half the pepper. Place the cooked spinach in a colander and drain. Chop fine and reserve.

FOR ONION: In the same skillet, add the remaining tablespoon olive oil and cook the onion 3 to 5 minutes over medium heat until translucent. Add the marjoram and prosciutto. Stir and cook an additional 2 minutes. Set aside.

TO ASSEMBLE: In a large bowl, beat the eggs and add the drained ricotta, spinach, onion, and prosciutto. Season with the nutmeg and remaining salt and pepper. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line the tart shell with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans or pastry weights. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the dough is set. Remove the foil and beans and cook an additional 10 minutes, or until the dough is light brown.

Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Spread the ricotta and spinach mixture evenly in the tart, place on the middle rack of the oven, and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the filling is set and the top golden brown. Let rest for 15 to 20 minutes, slice into wedges, and serve.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Harper Collins. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 6 to 8
Calories: 605
Fat. Total: 45g
Fiber: 3g
Carbohydrates, Total: 30g
Sodium: 265mg
% Cal. from Fat: 67%
Cholesterol: 190mg
Protein: 21g
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