This is the second post in the series of recipes that I made for Conor’s visit. Are you curious what Conor has to say about his visit? Hop over to his blog to find out the connection between me and Hannibal Lecter…
It was easy to decide upon a secondo (main course) for the welcome dinner for Conor. Since I knew he’d like to try sous-vide and he likes beef, I decided on Wagyu Flank Steak, cooked 48 hours at 55C/131F, seared in clarified butter and served with a red wine and beef stock reduction and sautéed mushrooms. But what about a side? I had picked out a great 1997 Barolo Brunate from Enzo Boglietti, and thought that something with spinach from the region of the wine (i.e. Piemonte) would be appropriate. (Spinach does not only taste well with beef, a scientific study has shown that green vegetables with a lot of chlorofyl like spinach can neutralise the increased risk of colon cancer that is associated with the consumption of red meat without green vegetables.)
A traditional flan di spinaci from Piemonte is made with bechamel sauce and would be a bit heavy, and this is what I came up with as a lighter version. Spinach can be a bit astringent, but these sformatini have a very well rounded deep spinach taste that paired wonderfully with both the wine and the beef. We all loved them and I will definitely make them again. Please give them a dry, you will be glad you did!
For 4 servings (4 tartlets)
350 grams (.77 lbs) fresh spinach
25 grams (3 Tbsp) pine nuts
freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
1 clove garlic, halved
freshly grated nutmeg, about 1/2 tsp
60 grams (2 oz) freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
salt and freshly ground black pepper
butter (for sautéing the spinach and buttering the muffin pan)
breadcrumbs (for coating the muffin pan)
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.