Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ricotta Spinach Pie

It's Oscars Season!  I now have about 25 movies I have to see between now and the Academy Awards.  I'll be spending way too much money (and time) sitting in a dark room with strangers over the next few weeks but at least I will be able to make pretentious comments about the contenders.  I saw Les Miserables last night and I am disappointed to say that it was the most boring two and a half hours of 2013 so far.

For the record, here were my top five movies this year:

  • Argo - Ben Affleck with facial hair.  Hollaaaa!  In my opinion, he deserved Best Director and Best Acting nomination.  But I am a huge fan and obviously many people disagreed with me.  
  • The Intouchables - A French film that is AWESOME.  It's a really touching story and if you want to watch one feel-good movie prior to the Oscars, make it this one.  NOTE: This French film should not be confused with the other French film, Amour - another great movie according to my husband.  Unfortunately, I have not seen it but any movie that has a title that means 'love' and has my husband's raves must be exceptional.
  • Dark Knight Rises - My movie experience was heightened because the two nights prior to seeing the movie, I rewatched Batman Begins and Dark Knight and therefore, I was of the variety of viewers who recognized the obscure connections from the previous two movies (thereby irritating all those people around me with my chuckles of acknowledgement).  
  • The Amazing Spider-man  - I adore movies with real life couples.  Emma and Andrew were precious.  I have reenacted the scene where Spiderman throws his web out to catch Gwen Stacy and she twirls back to him over and over again in the living room/kitchen/foyer area of the apartment.  Note the use of 'I' in that sentence. I'm reenacting this by myself while Newt stares lazily back at me from the couch.
  • Zero Dark Thirty - Another one who was snubbed for Best Director category.  I actually saw this one in 2013 but I'm going to still count it if you don't mind.  It was the most intriguing movie I saw this year.  If I can't chose this one then I will replace it with Wreck-it Ralph.  But the intellect of my list will take a severe hit.  
You should find the nearest Redbox and pick up some of these or go to the movie theater and enjoy the magic.  We will be watching Beasts of the Southern Wild tonight.  24 to go!  

Now, what to eat for these movie marathon watching sessions?  I recommend something easy to throw together and then something that will need to bake so you can get the movie started.  Then, it will give you a good break from the movie to discuss second-act transitions while you pull the dish out of the oven and enjoy.  Start off with this Spinach Ricotta Pie.  I completely removed one of the cheeses from the recipe as I didn't want to have a heart attack during the credits.  

Spinach Ricotta Pie 
Adapted from Bon Appetit

  • 1 refrigerated pie crust at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 large eggs, beaten to blend

Preheat oven to 350°F. Unfold pie crust and press out folds.  Sprinkle the tablespoon of flour over the crust and place the crust flour-side down in a pie dish.   Crimp the edges decoratively.   Take your thawed spinach and drain it of as much moisture as you can.  (I put mine in a wide lipped bowl and then placed an empty wide lipped bowl on top of it and pressed out the liquid into the sink.)  Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes.  Add spinach, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Sauté until all liquid from spinach evaporates, about 3 minutes. Combine ricotta and Parmesan cheeses in large bowl. Mix in eggs. Add spinach mixture from the pan and blend well. Pour the cheese mixture into pie crust. Bake until filling is set in center and brown on top, about 35-40 minutes. Let stand for a few minutes before cutting and serving.  

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