Tag Archives: spinach

FFWD: Storzapretis


Happy French Friday!  This week’s recipe is one of those from the book that I never really noticed.  I just kind of glossed over it.  But then I read it, and it sounded good!  I think the problem is the name:  Storzapretis.  That doesn’t mean anything to me.  The subtitle has more meaning: Corsican Spinach and Mint Gnocchi.  That sounds more like something I can get into!

Storzapretis is a ricotta-based gnocchi from the island of Corsica.  It has a nice amount of spinach, as well as Gruyere and mint.  It is baked in a tomato sauce of your choosing (I used homemade roasted tomato sauce made from garden tomatoes that I had in the freezer).

It turns out this was a tricky one to make.  There was much discussion about how to best make this without having the gnocchi fall apart to bits while cooking.  My first attempt was very successful and I got a little cocky.  My second attempt was a disaster, and my third attempt was another success.  Here’s how it all went down:

1) The night I mixed up and formed the gnocchi, I cooked up half of them as directed after freezing them for half an hour to firm them up a bit.  I boiled them at a very low simmer and then they were baked with the tomato sauce with cheese sprinkled on top.  No gnocchi disintegrated, and they were delicious!  I took no pictures.

2) I had left the remaining gnocchi in the freezer over night.  The next day for lunch, the plan was to cook half the leftovers for the purposes of taking photos in natural light.  I plopped the frozen gnocchi into the lightly simmering water (Dorie said we could cook from frozen).  They disintegrated!  Only a couple of them stayed in any shape mildly resembling gnocchi, and they were very soft and misshapen.  Uh oh!

3)  Several Doristas had tried skipping the simmering step, and just baked the raw gnocchi in the tomato sauce.  I tried this with the rest of the leftovers – I had to get a photo!  Mine baked for quite a bit longer than directed since they were frozen, but it worked!  A delicious lunch and some beautiful photos.  Whew!


My conclusion after all this, is that the Storzapretis are delicious to eat, but persnickety to make.  I wouldn’t make this for company unless I was sure I had perfected my technique.

If you would like to see how others fared, check it out here.

Have a great weekend!



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Tortellini Soup

Recently I was in the mood for some tortellini soup.  The few recipes I looked at weren’t quite what I had in mind.  Then I noticed that the back of my Kirkland Signature (Costco’s brand) chicken stock had a recipe for tortellini soup.  It was very close to what I was looking for!

I have made this soup several times now and I’ve made a few tweaks to the original recipe.  This is a great weeknight meal and most of the ingredients can be stored in the pantry or freezer.  Keep them on hand for when you have a little extra spinach to use up!

Tortellini Soup

Print Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • small piece of Parmesan cheese rind (optional, but adds a lot of flavor)
  • 8 or 9 oz. package fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
  • 4 – 6 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional garnishes:  chopped fresh basil leaves or pesto

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium pot.  Add the chopped garlic and stir until softened, being careful not to burn it.

Add the tomatoes with their juices and the chicken broth to the pan.  Add the Parmesan rind, if using.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the tortellini an cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until the tortellini is just tender.

Coarsely chop the baby spinach leaves.  Or leave them whole if you are lazy like me.

Remove the Parmesan rind from the pot.  Add the spinach and cook until wilted, just a few minutes.  Stir in grated Parmesan cheese.

Add pepper to taste, and additional salt if needed.

Garnish each serving with additional grated Parmesan and one of the optional garnishes, if using.

Serves 3 – 4

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Spinach and Ricotta Two Ways

Baked Conchiglione

I hate when I waste some of a specialized product just because the recipe I bought it for does not use the whole amount.  Such was almost the case with the ricotta from this pasta dish.  Luckily I happened to be looking through one of my pizza cookbooks while holding onto this recipe and found a spinach and ricotta pizza recipe.  Perfect!

Let’s start with the pasta.  It’s made from large pasta shells stuffed with a spinach-ricotta filling and baked in tomato sauce.  It comes from the book Pasta Harvest by Janet Fletcher.  The filling is so delicious!  It has equal parts mozzarella and ricotta, making it rich and creamy, with garlic and fresh basil for flavor.  It is one of the best spinach-ricotta fillings I have ever had.

The original recipe calls for this homemade tomato sauce using fresh tomatoes.  I have made it with the homemade sauce and it is fabulous!  BUT, it is really a recipe that is best made at the peak of tomato season with garden or farmer’s market tomatoes.  In the off-season, you can use store-bought tomato sauce with good results.  This time I used a traditional Marinara sauce from Trader Joe’s.

Spinach-Ricotta Pizza

Spinach and Ricotta Pizza

The pizza came from my new favorite pizza cookbook by Diane Morgan and Tony Gemignani, simply called Pizza.  It had many of the same  ingredients as the pasta: olive oil, tomato sauce, spinach, garlic, and Parmesan, mozzarella and ricotta cheeses.  It’s a classic combination!

Baked Conchiglione with Spinach-Ricotta Filling

Click here to print.

  • ½ pound baby spinach leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ pound whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • ½ pound mozzarella cheese, whole- or skim-milk, coarsely grated
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced fresh basil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 20 jumbo pasta shells (it’s a good idea to cook a few extra in case of breakage)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1½ cups Marinara sauce, store-bought or homemade
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Wash spinach in cold water.  Place the spinach in a 10-inch skillet with the rinse-water still clinging to the leaves.  Cover and cook over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until the leaves are just wilted.  Transfer the spinach to a colander and rinse under cold running water to cool.  Drain well and squeeze dry.  Chop finely.

Cook pasta shells in a large pot of boiling salted water.  Remove and drain when they are about a minute shy of being done.  They will continue to cook in the oven.  Transfer pasta to a bowl and toss with olive oil to prevent them from sticking together.

Meanwhile, combine the spinach, garlic, ricotta, mozzarella, egg, basil, salt and pepper in a bowl, mixing well.

Put half the tomato sauce on the bottom of a shallow baking dish just large enough to hold the shells in a single layer.  Fill each pasta shell with a heaping tablespoon of the filling and arrange them in the baking dish.  You should have just enough stuffing to fill 20 shells (really!).  Spoon the remaining sauce over and around the shells and top with the Parmesan cheese.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake until bubbling hot, 30 – 40 minutes.  COOK’S NOTE:  When I cooked mine it definitely needed the full 40 minutes.  In fact, I thought the filling wasn’t quite hot enough so I might do 50 minutes next time.

Serves 4


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