Recipe: Giovanna’s Spinach Casserole (and I know my chickens)

Many years ago, I worked as an editor at an Italian food magazine where I must have translated thousands of recipes. I had fun this morning translating Giovanna’s recipe below.

Giovanna’s Spinach Casserole

An old, simple, and tasty recipe.

Wash the spinach well and then wilt in a pan with a pinch of salt. Squeeze and then use a sieve to purge the spinach of its water. Sauté in a pan with a little bit of butter.

Make a béchamel and seasons with salt and pepper to taste and a dash of nutmeg. Fold the béchamel into the spinach and add freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, 2 whole eggs, and 1 egg yolk. Whisk the remaining egg white until it forms peaks and then carefully fold it into the spinach mixture.

Grease a loaf pan (or a bundt cake pan) with butter and then coat with a thin layer of flour before transferring the spinach mixture to the pan. Heat the oven to 375°, arrange the pan in a bain-marie and bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before turning it out on to a serving platter.

Serve with a fondue, with mushrooms, or chicken livers.

*****

Tracie P’s comment reminded me that I had neglected to post about Giovanna’s rooster and chickens!

franco ziliani

There’s a wonderful expression in Italian, a phrase you might hear a mother or a grandmother utter when she can predict a child’s desire or request: conosoco i miei polli (I know my chickens). If you ever get to stay in an Italian farmhouse estate like Giovanna’s, you’ll notice that the chickens (like Giovanna’s) have very distinct and often peculiar preferences about their daily routine and pecking order, as it were. Hence the familiar, affectionate expression…

Thanks again, Giovanna, for sharing your recipe!

And for my fan of the “burning disappointment,” please don’t despair! Next on deck: Beppe Rinaldi on natural yeast… Stay tuned!