Minas are Passover pies, lasagnelike pastries using soaked matzoh in place of pasta. They can be filled with vegetables, cheeses, or meat. Early recipes advise a soaking time that would be too long for our crackerlike matzohs. The handmade matzohs of Greece and Italy were often round and were much thicker and harder than our delicate and crisp factory-made ones. The time it takes for our matzohs to soften without disintegrating is about 3 minutes. Often they are soaked in water and then dipped in egg, which is impossible to do if they have fallen apart. Some recipes call for soaking the matzohs in water, beating the eggs, and then pouring the eggs over the too.
Cut away the root ends from the leeks and most of the green part and discard. Peel away any loose layers, cut the leeks in half lengthwise, and then cut crosswise into thin slices. If the leeks are very fat, coarsely-chop them. Soak the leeks in a sink full of cold water, swish them around to loosen any dirt, remove with a slotted spoon, and drain well in a colander. You will have about
Warm the butter, oil, or margarine in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the leeks and onion and cook, stirring often, until the leeks are very tender,
to 20 minutes, adding water as needed to help soften them. Make sure that all of the water has evaporated by the time the leeks are ready. If it has not, drain them well. Remove from the heat, cool, and mix in the ricotta or farmer cheese, 2 of the eggs salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste, and dill.
Beat the remaining egg in a shallow bowl large enough to hold a matzoh. Put cold water in another bowl. Soak the matzoh in the water for about 3 minutes, then drain. Dip the matzoh in the egg, then place in the prepared baking pan. Repeat, using enough additional matzah to fill in any spaces in the pan. Sprinkle with
© 2000 Joyce Goldstein. All rights reserved.