Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Leaves from The Walnut Tree: Cooking of a Lifetime

Leaves from The Walnut Tree

By Ann Taruschio and Franco Taruschio

Published 1993

  • About



  • 350 g/12 oz lightly cooked fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch ground chilli
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 225 g/8 oz ricotta
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 60 g/2 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 tablespoons double cream
  • freshly grated nutmeg to taste


    To make the pastry

    Sieve flour, salt and sugar into a bowl, rub in the butter until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Use your hands lightly. Beat the egg and add chilled water, sprinkle over dough and work in lightly with your fingertips. Leave the dough in a refrigerator for 1 hour. Roll out and line a 25 cm/10 in loose-bottomed quiche tin, prick the base with a fork and bake blind in a hot oven 220°C/425°F/gas 7 for about 15 minutes. Allow to cool.

    Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the spinach and toss. Season with salt, pepper, chilli and garlic, remove from the heat. Add the ricotta cheese, beaten eggs, Parmesan cheese, double cream and nutmeg to taste, mix in well. Spread mixture in pastry shell and bake in moderate oven 180°C/350°F/gas 4 for 30 minutes, or until the crust is brown and the cheese mixture set.

    Cicoria catalagna (a type of cultivated dandelion) or wild hop shoots can be used instead of spinach.