One reason for making this, is that Rachel Roddy said in her column in the Guardian’s Cook Supplement on 30 January 2016 (which provides the recipe on which this is based), “Italy is where … leftovers really do still rule, helping cooking feel like a continuum” – has she been reading my blog?
Anyway, I also needed to use most of a 260g bag of spinach leftover from a stir-fry. Enough for 3 people:
- 200g spinach
- 125g risotto rice
- small onion (finely chopped)
- 20g butter
- 1 large egg (beaten)
- 40g parmesan (grated)
- black pepper to taste
- oil (to brush the cake tin)
- 1 heaped tbsp bread crumbs
Quickly wilt the spinach in a hot pan. Remove it to a plate, allow to cool, and snip into smaller pieces with scissors.
Cook the rice in boiling water and drain.
Heat the butter in a pan and cook the onion very gently over a low heat for about 10 minutes.
Brush a cake tin (about 20cm in diameter) with a little oil and dust with the bread crumbs.
Heat the oven to 200C (Gas Mark 6).
Mix together the spinach, rice, onion and parmesan, and then mix in the beaten egg and add black pepper. Place the mixture in the cake tin, smoothing the top with a spoon.
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the top starts to brown. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.
I served mine with roasted baby plum tomatoes.
More comfort food – this time an Italian potato cake, based on a recipe in today’s Guardian, by Rachel Roddy. You get lovely warming, buttery, cheesy potato with a layer of melted, slightly chewy, cheese in between. I served mine with lightly cooked broccoli. Enough for four people.
- 750g mashed potato (I baked some largish potatoes, and removed most of the cooked potato, so I could use the skins as a separate snack)
- 60g grated parmesan
- 35g butter
- Black pepper
- 2 eggs
- 100ml milk (or a mixture of milk and cream)
- 80g provolone cheese (or mature gouda, or emmental)
- 125g mozzarella ball
- A little olive oil (to grease the baking dish)
- 1 tbsp finely ground breadcrumbs
Mash the potato together with the parmesan, 25g of butter, grated nutmeg and black pepper to taste. Lightly beat together the eggs and the milk, and mix into the potato mixture.
Cut the provolone and mozzarella into small (0.5cm) cubes.
Grease the inside of an oven proof dish (I used a square earthenware dish about 21cm square) with the olive oil. Place half the potato in the bottom of the dish, and sprinkle with the cubed provolone and mozzarella. Place the remaining potato on top and smooth the surface. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and dot with the remaining butter.
Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes, at 180C (Gas Mark 4), or until the top is brown and crispy. Leave to stand for about 10 minutes before serving.