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Baked Eggs with Spinach and Ricotta
2 - 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 ¼ pounds or two 10-ounce bags of Spinach, well washed rinsed and thick stems removed
Salt and pepper to taste
½ pound honey baked Ham, thickly sliced and cut into a ¼ inch dice
½ pound ricotta cheese
10 large eggs - 6 for boiling, 2 for spinach/cheese mixture, 2 for egg wash
½ cup lightly toasted breadcrumbs
1 cup grated Romano cheese
2 sheets (9 ½ x 10 inch) Frozen Puff Pastry, thawed
1 recipe for Creamed Tomato Sauce
Creamed Tomato Sauce
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper.
Place 6 room temperature eggs into a pan of cold water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain well and set eggs aside to cool. Peel when cool enough to handle.
Heat the olive oil in a deep, wide sauté pan. Add diced ham. Sauté for 2 minutes over medium-high heat. Add spinach. Sauté until spinach is wilted, approximately 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook 2 more minutes, until spinach is fairly dry. Remove the spinach mixture. Chop finely. You may have to cook the spinach in batches.
In a deep bowl, combine the cooked, chopped spinach mixture with the ricotta, uncooked eggs, breadcrumbs and cheese. The mixture should not be runny; rather it should thick and should hold together.
On a lightly floured surface, lay out one of the thawed puff pastry sheet (keep the second wrapped in the refrigerator to stay chilled until ready to use). Roll to approximately 11 x 11-inch square. Cut the large piece into four 5-½ inch square pieces. Roll each piece further to 6-inch square. You want to roll out quickly. You do not want to give the butter in the dough a chance to melt or you will end up with chewy rather than flaky pastry. As you roll out the pastry dough, dust as necessary with additional flour, to avoid sticking to the surface or rolling pin. Dust off all excess flour prior to filling. Follow the same procedure with the second piece of pastry dough. Wrap and refreeze excess pieces for future use.
Wrap each hard cooked egg with 1/6th of the spinach/cheese mixture.
Brush the inside edges generously with egg wash (2 eggs whisked with 2 teaspoons water). Place the wrapped egg in the center of one dough square One at a time, pull the four corners up to meet in the center above the egg. Using your fingers seal the seams by pinching them together. Repeat with all sides. Make sure there are no exposed bits of filling. The pastry will cooperate with a little pinch on top. Do not overwork or over handle.
Place the 6 egg pouches on the prepared sheet tray. Brush the tops with the remaining egg wash. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown.
While the eggs are cooking make the sauce.
Spoon sauce on the bottom of 6 individual dishes. Place one baked puff pastry egg pouch on top of each dish. Sprinkle with remaining parsley.
©2013 Nick Stellino Productions