Sunday, 16 January 2011

Happy New Year!

How late am I at saying that? I really hope you all enjoyed a very happy Christmas and New Year.
We certainly did. A family filled Christmas and a whole six days off in the new year. I feel very rested and ready to get stuck back into juggling family life, work and of course this little blog.
I've not stopped cooking of course; there are still hungry mouths in the house, but things have toned down after the excesses of the season.
Simple soups, fresh bread, crisp winter salads and lots of bean based recipes have graced our table lately. And pasta of course. Not a week goes by where we don't have pasta at least once.

Amongst the wonderful gifts I received over the holidays was a recipe book by the people at 'Seeds of Italy'. My habit of turning down pages long over, I have been furiously ripping up scraps of paper and putting them inbetween the pages of recipes I'd like to try. Of course, this prompted M to rip up some paper of her own and leave it all over the floor for us to pick up.
This is not the first time we have found her immitating a paper shredder - indeed, we have lost three pages to some of her favourite and most worn books; and while we wait for her to lose interest in her new hobby, those books and our most prized works, sit as high out of reach as possible, only coming down during naptime or to be used in the kitchen, like this recipe below:

Torta di Spinach

500g puff pastry
3 or 4 handfuls fresh spinach, washed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic
25g parmesan
3 large eggs
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to gas mark 4 and grease a loose-bottomed flan tin with a little oil.
In a small pan, gently wilt the spinch with a little water.
When cooked, strain and push as much of the water out of the spinach before setting aside.
In a frying pan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Roughly chop the onion and cook for 4 minutes until they begin to become see through. Crush the garlic over the pan and fry for another minute. Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach, parmesan and season to taste.
Push the spinach mixture into the pastry case and gently pull the sides up around to seal the filling in.
Beat the eggs in a medium sized bowl with a little salt and pepper and pour them over the spinach.
Use a pastry brush to drag some of the beaten egg over the pastry to glaze.
Bake for 40minutes until the egg is cooked and golden and the pastry flaking.
Serve hot or cold with a crisp green salad and a lemony dressing.

Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface to 4mm thick.
Carefully transfer to the flan tin using the rolling pin and push in.
Trim the pastry so 3cm are over hanging the edge of the tin.


  1. This looks so yummy! Any excuse to eat spinach. You can't go wrong with pastry in January.

  2. What a beautiful blog Alice! Thanks for visiting and Happy New Year! ;)