Friday, 6 September 2013


Now the school holidays are over it is time to detox (ish) and start cooking healthily and from scratch again – I am actually quite excited at the thought of getting back into the old routine.

I decided to do something completely extraordinary and not cook a dish out of my favourite Fay Ripley books and instead found a recipe for a Crispy Pancetta, Spinach & Ricotta Bake. I love anything that includes spinach and ricotta and thought this was a bit healthier than pasta with spinach and ricotta (a Fay recipe you are sure to see on this blog sometime soon).

Ingredients for 4 people:

Around 26 slices of pancetta – either round or long slices
300g baby spinach
1 x 500g tub of fresh ricotta
4 tablespoons of chopped dill leaves
4 tablespoons of chopped mint leaves
4 tablespoons of chopped flat leaf parsley leafs
4 medium eggs 40g finely grated parmesan (I probably used double this)!
Sea salt and black pepper

Firstly preheat the oven to 180C fan / 200C / gas mark 6.

Then you can line the base & sides (I forgot to do this & it didn’t make a difference) of a shallow ovenproof dish (the recipe recommends one that is about 1.3 litres / 2.25 pt capacity – I just used whatever dish I had)!

Empty the spinach into a bowl, pour over boiling water, stand for 10 seconds and drain. Then dry the spinach on absorbent paper and roughly chop.

Afterwards mix the spinach, dill, mint, parsley, eggs, ricotta, parmesan and salt and pepper in a bowl. Line the dish with half the slices of pancetta – spoon over the mixture – and then cover with the rest of the pancetta.

Finally put it in the oven for 35 – 40 minutes.

The end result was very good! We served it with a green salad and reheated the remaining half the next day and it was even more delicious.

The one thing you need to be careful about is the pancetta becoming too crispy – we used long slices but maybe round would be better. I think it works well as a lunch or supper & even my five-year-old daughter loved it despite the fact she claims not to like spinach – so it also works well as a way to get greens into little people!!

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