Spinach Artichoke Pasta

IMG_0921.jpg

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Welcome back to pasta month on Jennyblogs!

So far we’ve seen a Thai-inspired pasta, an Italian pasta, and today an American pasta. One of the biggest differences between these cuisines is the amount of cheese used. We Americans really like our cheese! Italian cuisine uses quite a bit of cheese in certain dishes, but it’s usually a seasoned, more pungent cheese (hello, beautiful parmigiano!) used as a finishing touch. Aside from pizza, of course, but even then, their pizzas or not nearly as cheese-blanketed as an American pizza can be!

From that you’ve learned that today’s pasta is going to be cheesy…even if you’ve already learned that my posts are usually cheesy….

You’ve heard of spinach and artichoke dip? That rich, creamy, decadent dip usually found at parties served with little pieces of toast? That one you say you aren’t going to eat because it’s so high-fat, but you just can’t help yourself and end up splurging anyway? Today we’re going to make a Spinach and Artichoke PASTA. As much as I love spinach and artichoke dip, I think this pasta is even better. Plus, there is no sour cream, mayonnaise, or cream cheese involved! It’s still cheesy of course, but you can largely control how much or how little cheese you add, and the same goes for the veggies, in particularly the spinach.

For as much as I love the precision and science behind baking, I’m really coming around to cooking and how versatile it can be!

I mentioned that this Spinach Artichoke Pasta is delicious, right? I made an 8x8in pan once for lunch and my husband and I ate the WHOLE THING in one sitting. I listed the servings as 3-4 for an 8x8in / 20x20cm pan, but don’t be surprised if it becomes only 2 servings! Especially if there are men or growing children involved. Or, just double the recipe and put it in a 9x13in / 23x33cm pan. Problem solved!

Short on time? You can make this ahead of time, store in the fridge, and broil the pasta about 10 minutes before serving, OR you can serve this straight out of the pan and skip the broiling. Sprinkle the cheese on top and voila, you just saved yourself a step.

Recipe adapted from Dam* Delicious (and yes, I just censored that.)


Spinach Artichoke Pasta

Serves 3-4

IMG_0913.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz / 250g (half package) penne or your choice of short pasta (my favorite are the shells for this!)

  • 2 Tbsp / 28g oil

  • 1/2 large onion, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 Tbsp / 15g all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup / 60g water, or chicken or vegetable broth

  • 1 cup / 237g milk

  • about 5 oz / 150g fresh spinach, chopped

  • 7 oz / 200g frozen or canned cooked artichoke hearts, drained/thawed and chopped

  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, or a few grates of fresh, if available

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • about 2 oz / 57g fontal or other semi-soft cheese, shredded

  • about 2 oz / 57g parmesan cheese, shredded or grated

Directions:

Ungreased 8x8in / 20x20cm pan, if you’re making this ahead of time (see step 8. and 9.)

IMG_0917.jpg
  1. Place a large pot of water over high heat, adding salt just before it boils. Cook the pasta al dente according to directions on package; drain.

  2. While you’re boiling the water and cooking the pasta, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes or so, until the onion is translucent and garlic fragrant.

  3. Add flour and stir, it will absorb all the liquid. Cook 1-2 minutes, until flour is toasted.

  4. Slowly add in the water, stirring constantly to make a thick paste (roux), then slowly stir in milk.

  5. Bring to a simmer to thicken the sauce; add spinach, artichokes, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until spinach has wilted and artichokes are heated through, about 2 minutes.

  6. Remove from heat and add a generous half of the fontal and generous half of the parmesan, stir until melted.

  7. Add the cooked pasta and stir to coat.

  8. If serving right away, spoon onto plates and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

  9. If serving later, transfer pasta to prepared baking dish, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and refrigerate. When ready to eat, place oven rack near top and broil pasta for a few minutes, or until cheese is melty and starts to turn golden.



Jenny’s Notes:

  • Instead of fresh spinach you can also use frozen spinach, defrosted, drained, and chopped. Or you can use beet greens, arugula, or other cookable green of choice.

  • If you are watching your fat intake, feel free to reduce the cheese and use low-fat milk. On the other hand, if you love cheesy pasta and could care less about the fat, double the cheese!

  • Double this recipe and put in a 9x13in / 23x33cm pan!

  • If making ahead more than a few hours, I suggest boiling the pasta by 1-2 minutes less than indicated time, as it can become mushy sitting in the sauce. You may also need to add a bit more liquid (water, broth, or milk) to the sauce to compensate for the bit the pasta absorbs.

  • If you don’t know what to do with the other half can of artichokes, I suggest 1) making this dish twice within a few days, 2) doubling the recipe, or 3) using frozen artichokes or cooking them yourself so you don’t have to worry about the half can. I usually end up going for option 1, honestly, because making this once just isn’t enough.

American
Yield: 3-4 servings
Author:

Spinach Artichoke Pasta

Pasta in a cheesy, creamy sauce with spinach and artichokes, playing off the flavors of the beloved spinach and artichoke dip.
prep time: 50 Mcook time: 10 Mtotal time: 60 M

ingredients:

  • 4 oz / 250g (half package) penne or your choice of short pasta
  • 2 Tbsp / 28g oil
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp / 15g all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup / 60g water, or chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup / 237g milk
  • about 5 oz / 150g fresh spinach, chopped
  • 7 oz / 200g frozen or canned cooked artichoke hearts, drained/thawed and chopped
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, or a few grates of fresh, if available
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • about 2 oz / 57g fontal or other semi-soft cheese, shredded
  • about 2 oz / 57g parmesan cheese, shredded or grated

instructions:

How to cook Spinach Artichoke Pasta

  1. Ungreased 8x8in / 20x20cm pan, if you’re making this ahead of time (see steps 9. and 10.)
  2. Place a large pot of water over high heat, adding salt just before it boils. Cook the pasta al dente according to directions on package; drain.
  3. While you’re boiling the water and cooking the pasta, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 2-3 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes or so, until the onion is translucent and garlic fragrant.
  4. Add flour and stir, it will absorb all the liquid. Cook 1-2 minutes, until flour is toasted.
  5. Slowly add in the water, stirring constantly to make a thick paste (roux), then slowly stir in milk.
  6. Bring to a simmer to thicken the sauce; add spinach, artichokes, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until spinach has wilted and artichokes are heated through, about 2 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and add a generous half of the fontal and generous half of the parmesan, stir until melted.
  8. Add the cooked pasta and stir to coat.
  9. If serving right away, spoon onto plates and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  10. If serving later, transfer pasta to prepared baking dish, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and refrigerate. When ready to eat, place oven rack near top and broil pasta for a few minutes, or until cheese is melty and starts to turn golden.

NOTES:

Instead of fresh spinach you can also use frozen spinach, defrosted, drained, and chopped. Or you can use beet greens, arugula, or other cookable green of choice. If you are watching your fat intake, feel free to reduce the cheese and use low-fat milk. On the other hand, if you love cheesy pasta and could care less about the fat, double the cheese! Double this recipe and put in a 9x13in / 23x33cm pan! If making ahead more than a few hours, I suggest boiling the pasta by 1-2 minutes less than indicated time, as it can become mushy sitting in the sauce. You may also need to add a bit more liquid (water, broth, or milk) to the sauce to compensate for the bit the pasta absorbs. If you don’t know what to do with the other half can of artichokes, I suggest 1) making this dish twice within a few days, 2) doubling the recipe, or 3) using frozen artichokes or cooking them yourself so you don’t have to worry about the half can. I usually end up going for option 1, honestly, because making this once just isn’t enough.

Calories

488.68

Fat (grams)

23.74

Sat. Fat (grams)

8.73

Carbs (grams)

47.45

Fiber (grams)

6.94

Net carbs

40.51

Sugar (grams)

2.65

Protein (grams)

23.43

Sodium (milligrams)

668.13

Cholesterol (grams)

38.81
Nutritional information is approximate. Based on 3 servings using water (not broth) and 2% milk.
Created using The Recipes Generator
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Butternut Squash Risotto

IMG_2738.JPG

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I’m bacckkkkk! Did you forget I had a blog? I almost did, too. I didn’t mean to, but I took a three month hiatus from the blog. We’ll call it the extended Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s vacation. Happy all of those things, to you and yours.

So what year is it? Where are we? Ah yes, the brand new sparkling 2019. I think we all struggle this time of year with writing the old year for the first few weeks; “2018” instead of “2019,” but this time around I have been nailing the year and messing up the month. The other day I wrote November 2019. Nope. November was so two months ago. It’s January, Jenny. January.

You know what else comes around every January? Clean-eating resolutions, diets, and cleanses. While those are all fine and good, oh wait, cleanses are not. Why are they still around? Why are we still doing them? I mean, I’m not doing any cleanses, but I see enough people on social media doing them, touting them, and then encouraging their followers to do them, that it makes me worry. It’s not as much the actual cleanse itself that worries me, but the claims of what they can do. Body-reset, toxin flushing, hormone-balancing goodness. I know, people are gullible. I’m gullible. There is a reason the Bible calls us sheep. (It’s not a compliment, you should either be highly offended or humbled.) We go astray easily, following the crowd or “flock.” Even on silly things like cleanses. And you know what, on the surface they seem to work, which is why people probably want to try them. You feel better, you lose weight, and you think you’re doing great stuff for you bod, right? No. Wrong. Not factual.

Reasons Why a Cleanse is Not Necessary:

  1. Your body has a built in toxin flusher and cleanser. It’s called your liver. (Yay science!)

  2. Any weight you lose will probably be gained back once you start eating normally again. If you do a cleanse for more than a couple of days, especially strict ones like the “Master Cleanse,” your body is not going to be getting the calories and nutrients it needs and you will be losing fat, along with water, muscle and bone. Yum.

  3. There are a lot better ways out there to “feel good” about what you are doing for your body that are real, and not mostly just in your head or temporary. And well, a whole lot easier than starving yourself. Why don’t you try a new kind of exercise, drinking more water, eating more fruits and veggies, buying more organic, start budgeting, switching over to natural cleaning products, trying out essential oils, starting to take a prebiotic/probiotic, or a hot bath? Any of these things that maybe you could improve upon, would do you a lot more good in the long run.

Don’t take it from me, however, because I could be leading you astray just as much as the pro-cleanse people. Check out this article from Healthline.com, or this article from webmd, which is narrowing in specifically on the Master Cleanse diet. We all trust Webmd, right? Ah the site that tells us what may be wrong with us, along with 137 other ailments we didn’t know we might be suffering from. You can also just google “are cleanses safe,” and filter through the load of advice from medical websites and personal opinion yourself.

The bottom line is, I want you to be informed and use your critical thinking skills. Is a cleanse all they are hyped up to be? No, I think the real advice from doctors points in the opposite direction. But, even once you see a cleanse for what it is, and are still curious to try it, I think you should feel free to do that. Just be sure not to make a habit of it. ;) Then I hope you feel free to continue to feed your body the nutrition it needs, REAL food. Like this Butternut Squash Risotto recipe I’m about to show you. *Cue transition from Jenny’s soap box to recipe….*


Butternut Squash Risotto

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp / 28g oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

  • 10 oz / 300g butternut squash, seeded, peeled and chopped small (or you could just say half of a small squash)

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

  • 7 oz / 200g arborio rice

  • 1 pint / 500ml vegetable broth

  • about 3 oz / 100g spinach, chopped or whole

Directions:

IMG_2737.JPG
  1. In a large pan over medium-low heat, add the oil and garlic and simmer until fragrant, about a minute.

  2. Add the squash, onion, and bell pepper and cook until squash begins to soften.

  3. Add the rice and stir around to toast, about 1-2 minutes.

  4. Add stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. If the rice starts to cook dry, add more water or stock as needed.

  5. Once the rice is cooked, the squash is tender, and the liquid is mostly absorbed (but not all!), add the spinach and stir until wilted.

  6. Serve immediately.

Jenny’s Notes:

  • Risotto is a fairly quick, delicious, and versatile dish, great for colder months. Feel free to add or subtract vegetables to your liking. Any type of squash you like could be used, even pumpkin! (The fresh kind you have to peel and cube, not the puréed and canned kind, silly.)

  • If you like to ahem, cook with wine, and sometimes add it to your food even, feel free to add about 1/2 cup of red or white wine or dry white vermouth (or more or less depending on how winey you’re feeling.) Add it in between steps 3 and 4, after you’ve toasted the rice and before the stock. Allow the wine to evaporate and absorb into the rice before continuing with stock.

  • When you’re in a pinch and don’t have risotto or arborio rice, you really could use any kind. Just keep an eye on the cooking instructions for the kind of rice you are using so you will have an idea how long it will take.

  • If reheating leftovers, I would recommend adding in a touch more water or broth. The longer risotto sits the more liquid it will absorb, and may end up a bit dry.

Italian American
Yield: 2-4
Author:

Butternut Squash Risotto

Creamy delicious risotto featuring squash, bell peppers, and spinach, made with or without wine as you wish.
prep time: 50 Mcook time: total time: 50 M

ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp / 28g oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 10 oz / 300g butternut squash, seeded, peeled and chopped small (or you could just say half of a small squash)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 7 oz / 200g arborio rice
  • 1 pint / 500ml vegetable broth
  • about 3 oz / 100g spinach, chopped or whole

instructions:

How to cook Butternut Squash Risotto

  1. In a large pan over medium-low heat, add the oil and garlic and simmer until fragrant, about a minute.
  2. Add the squash, onion, and bell pepper and cook until squash begins to soften.
  3. Add the rice and stir around to toast, about 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add stock and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently. If the rice starts to cook dry, add more water or stock as needed.
  5. Once the rice is cooked, the squash is tender, and the liquid is mostly absorbed (but not all!), add the spinach and stir until wilted.
  6. Serve immediately.

NOTES:

Risotto is a fairly quick, delicious, and versatile dish, great for colder months. Feel free to add or subtract vegetables to your liking. Any type of squash you like could be used, even pumpkin! (The fresh kind you have to peel and cube, not the puréed and canned kind, silly.) If you like to ahem, cook with wine, and sometimes add it to your food even, feel free to add about 1/2 cup of red or white wine or dry white vermouth (or more or less depending on how winey you’re feeling.) Add it in between steps 3 and 4, after you’ve toasted the rice and before the stock. Allow the wine to evaporate and absorb into the rice before continuing with stock. When you’re in a pinch and don’t have risotto or arborio rice, you really could use any kind. Just keep an eye on the cooking instructions for the kind of rice you are using so you will have an idea how long it will take. If reheating leftovers, I would recommend adding in a touch more water or broth. The longer risotto sits the more liquid it will absorb, and may end up a bit dry.

Calories

380.32

Fat (grams)

14.84

Sat. Fat (grams)

1.12

Carbs (grams)

58.29

Fiber (grams)

7.41

Net carbs

50.88

Sugar (grams)

9.25

Protein (grams)

7.08

Sodium (milligrams)

748.43

Cholesterol (grams)

0.00
Nutritional information is approximate. Based on 2 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Pinwheels 3 Ways: Avocado Veggie, Buffalo Chicken, and Thanksgiving

From top to bottom: Thanksgiving, Veggie, Buffalo Chicken

From top to bottom: Thanksgiving, Veggie, Buffalo Chicken

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Or veggie rolls, veggie wraps, or veggie roll-ups, (but that just makes me think of fruit roll-ups, blech! No offense to my fruit roll-up loving friends.  Actually, every once in a blue moon I see a fruit roll up and think, hey, that sounds good right about now.  Then I walk on.  That's the end of the story.)  Or you could just call these tortilla/veggie/cream cheese concoctions for what they are; delicious.  That would be fine.  And the truth.  

They make for a great snack or appetizer, or lunch even if you forgot just how many pinwheels you popped in your mouth.  They're also very portable, quick, and simple to make, which make them ideal for parties, potlucks, lunch at the office, you name it.  

The formula is very easy to get the hang of, think tortillas, cream cheese, and condiments/spices!  The tortilla is your playground and the cream cheese is your best friend, so get creative!  Put all those flavor combinations you dreamt up while watching Food Network, The Great British Bake-Off, and Chef's Table to work in these tortillas.  Might be more manageable than that fried parmesan cheese bowl filled with pickled cabbage, grilled chicken, diced red peppers, fresh cilantro, lemon garlic aioli swiped across the plate and turmeric sprinkled over top.  But, hey, you could totally manage to put all that in a tortilla.  You might be on to something.  

To get you started, I give you three recipes: Fresh Veggie, Buffalo Chicken, and Turkey Cranberry a.k.a. Thanksgiving.  


Avocado Veggie Pinwheels

Makes about 18 pinwheels

Ingredients: 

Hmm, these photos could use improving upon…

Hmm, these photos could use improving upon…

  • 4 8-inch or 6 6-inch flour tortillas

  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened

  • 1/3 cup shredded carrots, or about 1-2 small carrots

  • 1/3 chopped spinach or broccoli

  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/4 tsp dill weed

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1/2 cup guacamole

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, carrots, spinach, green onions, garlic powder, dill weed, and salt and pepper.  

  2. Distribute evenly over tortillas, spreading almost to the edges.  Spread a thick layer of guacamole over cream cheese mixture.  Roll up tightly.  

  3. Slice into approximately 1 inch slices.  Serve or chill until it's part-tay time.  

pinwheels, roll ups, veggie rolls, veggie wraps, avocado, buffalo chicken pinwheels, Thanksgiving pinwheels, vegetable wraps, cranberry sauce, appetizer, finger food, snack
American
Yield: 32
Author:

Avocado Veggie Pinwheels

Tortillas slathered with seasoned cream cheese, avocado, and veggies, rolled up and sliced.
prep time: 25 Mcook time: total time: 25 M

ingredients:

  • 4 8-inch or 6 6-inch flour tortillas
  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup shredded carrots, or about 1-2 small carrots
  • 1/3 chopped spinach or broccoli
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp dill weed
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup guacamole

instructions:

How to cook Avocado Veggie Pinwheels

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, carrots, spinach, green onions, garlic powder, dill weed, and salt and pepper.
  2. Distribute evenly over tortillas, spreading almost to the edges. Spread a thick layer of guacamole over cream cheese mixture. Roll up tightly.
  3. Slice into approximately 1 inch slices. Serve or chill until it's part-tay time.

NOTES:

All quantities are very approximate. You could double basically any ingredient you want to have more filling, less filling, more flavor, less flavor. The tortilla is your playground.

Calories

54.07

Fat (grams)

3.37

Sat. Fat (grams)

1.62

Carbs (grams)

4.58

Fiber (grams)

0.50

Net carbs

4.17

Sugar (grams)

0.42

Protein (grams)

1.15

Sodium (milligrams)

79.99

Cholesterol (grams)

7.10
Nutritional information is approximate.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

Makes about 18 pinwheels

Ingredients:

  • 4 8-inch or 6 6-inch flour tortillas

  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened

  • 1/3 cup / 80g Frank's hot sauce

  • 1/2 cup cooked chopped or shredded chicken

  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped

  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled, optional

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, hot sauce, chicken, green onion, and blue cheese.

  2. Distribute evenly over tortillas, spreading almost to the edges.  Roll up tightly.  

  3. Slice into approximately 1 inch slices.  Serve or chill until it's part-tay time.   

pinwheel, veggie roll up, veggie wrap, buffalo chicken, blue cheese, buffalo chicken wrap, buffalo chicken pinwheel, canned chicken
American
Yield: 32
Author:

Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

Tortillas slathered in Frank's hot sauce and cream cheese with chicken, rolled, and sliced for bite size hot wing pinwheels.
prep time: 15 Mcook time: total time: 15 M

ingredients:

  • 4 8-inch or 6 6-inch flour tortillas
  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup / 80g Frank's hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup cooked chopped or shredded chicken
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled, optional

instructions:

How to cook Buffalo Chicken Pinwheels

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together cream cheese, hot sauce, chicken, green onion, and blue cheese.
  2. Distribute evenly over tortillas, spreading almost to the edges. Roll up tightly.
  3. Slice into approximately 1 inch slices. Serve or chill until it's part-tay time.

NOTES:

All quantities are very approximate. You could double basically any ingredient you want to have more filling, less filling, more flavor, less flavor. I often use canned chicken for the buffalo chicken. Pinwheels aren't exactly a showcase of your cooking/baking skills, anyway, so I like to keep things chop, chop. (Literally) Don't have Frank's hot sauce? Go get some. You will thank me as your life is changed forever.

Calories

57.68

Fat (grams)

3.45

Sat. Fat (grams)

1.82

Carbs (grams)

3.93

Fiber (grams)

0.21

Net carbs

3.91

Sugar (grams)

0.31

Protein (grams)

2.23

Sodium (milligrams)

133.17

Cholesterol (grams)

11.06
Nutritional information is approximate. Includes the blue cheese.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Thanksgiving Pinwheels

Makes about 18 Pinwheels

Ingredients:

  • 4 8-inch or 6 6-inch flour tortillas

  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened

  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce

  • 8 oz sliced deli turkey (or leftover Turkey, hey!)

  • 1/3 cup chopped spinach, optional

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl mix together cream cheese, cranberry sauce, and spinach.  Distribute evenly over tortillas, spreading almost to the edges.  

  2. Layer turkey slices over cream cheese mixture.  Roll up tightly.  

  3. Slice into approximately 1 inch slices.  Serve or chill until it's part-tay time.  

pinwheels, veggie roll ups, Thanksgiving, cream cheese, Thanksgiving pinwheel, Thanksgiving wrap, turkey, cranberry sauce, spinach
American
Yield: 32
Author:

Thanksgiving Pinwheels

Tortilla spread with cream cheese, cranberry sauce, and turkey, rolled and sliced for a nostalgic bite-sized taste of Thanksgiving.
prep time: 15 Mcook time: total time: 15 M

ingredients:

  • 4 8-inch or 6 6-inch flour tortillas
  • 8 oz / 225g cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
  • 8 oz sliced deli turkey (or leftover Turkey, hey!)
  • 1/3 cup chopped spinach, optional

instructions:

How to cook Thanksgiving Pinwheels

  1. In a medium bowl mix together cream cheese, cranberry sauce, and spinach. Distribute evenly over tortillas, spreading almost to the edges.
  2. Layer turkey slices over cream cheese mixture. Roll up tightly.
  3. Slice into approximately 1 inch slices. Serve or chill until it's part-tay time.

NOTES:

All quantities are very approximate. You could double basically any ingredient you want to have more filling, less filling, more flavor, less flavor. Like I said, the tortilla is your playground. I like the spinach, it gives it a nice punch of color. It also makes the roll versatile for Christmas, beautiful red and green!

Calories

61.73

Fat (grams)

3.08

Sat. Fat (grams)

1.56

Carbs (grams)

6.19

Fiber (grams)

0.31

Net carbs

6.07

Sugar (grams)

1.93

Protein (grams)

1.98

Sodium (milligrams)

138.33

Cholesterol (grams)

11.00
Nutritional information is approximate. Includes spinach.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Jenny's Notes:

  • All quantities are very approximate.  You could double basically any ingredient you want to have more filling, less filling, more flavor, less flavor.  Like I said, the tortilla is your playground.  

  • I like the spinach in the Thanksgiving roll, it gives it a nice punch of color.  It also makes the roll versatile for Christmas, beautiful red and green! 

  • Speaking of the Thanksgiving roll, you could probably make a much more legitimate roll by using all Thanksgiving leftovers in a roll...gravy instead of cream cheese...nah that'd be gross.  

  • I usually use canned chicken for the buffalo chicken.  Pinwheels aren't exactly a showcase of your cooking/baking skills, anyway, so I like to keep things chop, chop.  (Literally) 

  • Don't have Frank's hot sauce?  Go get some.  You will thank me as your life is changed forever.  


Tourte Milanese

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something using these links, Jennyblogs may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps to support Jennyblogs. For further information see the privacy policy. Grazie!

Tourte Milanese, also known as Tourte Milanaise.  No, the second version does not include mayonnaise.  Part of the family en croute, or encased in dough.  Who doesn't want to eat food, soup, and anything edible wrapped in flaky, buttery dough?  In this case, roasted peppers, herbed scrambled eggs, cheese, spinach, and meat.  

You will feel quite accomplished pulling this out of the oven, and taking your first bite into the explosion of hot, flaky layers, melty cheese, herbs, sweet peppers, smoky meat, and garlicky spinach.  It may look intimidating, but you can adjust this recipe to how much time and effort you want to put into it.  For example, you can make your own puff pastry, or you can pick it up at the store.  You could roast your own peppers, or buy a jar of already roasted peppers.  Of course, I enjoy making everything as home-made and from scratch as possible...clearly don't have kids yet.  I recommend reading through the recipe once or twice and taking a peek at my notes at the bottom to make your game plan.  For example, puff pastry can easily be a two day recipe, so you'll want to make that a day ahead, or way ahead, and freeze it until you have the urge to make a recipe like this.  

Want some inspiration?  Watch this fun video of Julia Child and Michel Richard making Puff Pastry and Tourte Milanese!


Tourte Milanese

Serves 8-12

Ingredients:

For the Crust

  • 1 lb. / 450g puff pastry, home-made or store bought

  • Egg wash made from 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp water

For the Eggs

  • 10 eggs

  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives or green onion

  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley or basil

  • 2 tsp snipped fresh tarragon or fresh or dried oregano

  • salt and ground pepper, to taste

  • 3 Tbsp / 42g butter

For the Rest of the Filling

  • 6 large red bell peppers (or use a 16oz jar or two of roasted red peppers)

  • 1 1/2 lbs / 680g spinach

  • 1 Tbsp / 14g olive oil

  • 1 Tbsp / 14g butter

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

  • salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg

  • 8 oz / 225g Swiss cheese

  • 8 oz / 225g smoked turkey or ham

Directions:

Generously grease an 8in / 20cm springform pan.  

Make the Crust

  1. Cut off 1/4 of the puff pastry, cover, and set aside.  

  2. Roll out the remaining pastry to 1/4" thick round.  Be sure to roll it thin enough so it will have a chance to be baked all the way through in the oven.  It should be big enough to cover the bottom and sides of your springform pan with an overhang.  Carefully press into pan, being sure to press all the way into the corners.  Cover and refrigerate.

  3. Roll out the remaining 1/4 of puff pastry until it is 1/4" thick.  Cut out an 8 in / 20cm circle, using an 8 in / 20cm pie plate or cake tin as a template.  Place on a plate or baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate.  

Make the Eggs

  1. Whisk eggs, herbs, salt and pepper together.  Melt butter in a skillet over low heat and pour in eggs.  Gently stir, continuously moving the setting eggs towards the center and allowing runny eggs to reach the bottom of the pan.  When the whole mixture has started to thicken, but still a bit runny, remove from heat and pour onto a plate. Cover and refrigerate and until ready to use.  

Roast the Peppers

Skip this step if you bought roasted red peppers.  

Method 1: Place peppers over an open flame on your stove top until blackened.  Flip and allow second side to roast.  Repeat until all peppers have been roasted.  

Method 2: Place all peppers onto a tinfoil lined sheet pan.  Place under broiler in your oven, checking every few minutes, until peppers are blackened.  Turn peppers over and roast second side.  

Once peppers have been roasted, place in an airtight container or ziploc bag for about 20 minutes to steam.  

Remove peppers and rub the skin off.  Cut out the stems and slice from top to bottom, laying them flat.  Remove seeds and trim away any inside veins.  

Place peppers on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess liquid, cover, and refrigerate.  

Blanch and Sauté the Spinach

  1. Bring a large amount of salted water to a boil.  Add spinach and blanch for 1 minute.  Drain in a colander and rinse in cold water to stop it from cooking.  Press the spinach to remove excess liquid.  

  2. Place oil, butter, and garlic in a large frying pan over medium heat.  When garlic starts to sizzle, add blanched spinach and sauté for 3 minutes.  Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Remove from heat and transfer spinach to a plate lined with paper towels.  Cover and refrigerate until needed.  

Assemble the Tourte

Preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C.  

Remove the pastry lined pan from the fridge, along with your eggs, peppers, spinach, cheese, and turkey/ham.  Layer your ingredients in this order, laying them flat and spreading to the edge:

  1. Half of eggs

  2. Half of spinach

  3. Half of turkey/ham

  4. Half of cheese

  5. All the peppers

  6. Other half of cheese

  7. Other half of turkey/ham

  8. Other half of spinach

  9. Other half of eggs

Trim the pastry overhang to within 1 in / 2.5cm of the pan.  Brush the inner side with egg wash and fold over filling.  Brush the other side with more egg wash. 

Remove the round pastry top from fridge, re-rolling if it has shrunk any.  Place over the folded edges of the tourte, pressing down to seal it.  Brush with more egg wash.  Cut a vent in the center of the dough, or use a knife to trace a design.  Or, you can cut out shapes form the puff pastry scraps and decorate the top.  Brush shapes with more egg wash.  Chill assembled tourte in fridge for 30 minutes prior to baking.  

Place tourte on a tinfoil lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes - 1 hour 30 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and a deep golden brown.  

Cool for 30 minutes before releasing from pan and serving.

Can be assembled a day ahead.  Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.  To reheat, place in an oven preheated to 350°F / 177°C for 20-30 minutes. 

Jenny's Notes:

The recipe above is pretty traditional, however, it can easily be adjusted to your tastes.  

No soggy bottoms here!

No soggy bottoms here!

  • Before layering in the filling, I suggest sprinkling the bottom with a grated hard cheese, such as parmesan, or bread crumbs, to avoid the soggy-bottom syndrome. I did a combo of cheese and bread crumbs.

  • For the herbed scrambled eggs, chives, parsley, and tarragon combo is more traditional, but I prefer green onion, basil, and oregano. To be completely honest I've never had tarragon, but from what I've read I can't say I have a real desire to.

  • Feel free to use whichever color peppers you like! I roasted multi-colored mini sweet peppers. The white from the eggs (ish), green from the spinach, and red from the peppers is supposed to resemble the colors of the Italian flag, but hey. I'm just making Italy more colorful than it already it is.

  • 1 1/2 lbs of spinach may seem outrageous, but it really cooks down. I have used a scant pound before when that’s all I had, but the spinach is surprisingly delicious and I wouldn’t modify the recipe down if I had a choice.

  • Play around with cheeses! You'll want softer cheeses, ones that melt well. Think cheddar, gruyere, havarti, gouda, brie...I opted for half Swiss and half dill havarti. Two beautiful melting cheeses.

  • I pulled the tourte out of the oven after 1 hour 10 minutes, but it could have used more time to bake the pastry all the way through. It can be difficult to tell as your only clue is the color of the pastry.

Tourte Milanese, Julia Child, Michel Richard, spinach, roasted red peppers, en croute, scrambled eggs, cheese, puff pastry,turkey, Italian flag
breakfast, dinner
Italian, French
Yield: 8-12 Servings
Author:

Tourte Milanese

Layers of turkey, cheese, spinach, roasted red peppers, and eggs encased in flaky puff pastry.
prep time: 1 H & 35 Mcook time: 1 H & 30 Mtotal time: 2 H & 65 M

ingredients:

For the Crust
  • 1 lb. / 450g puff pastry, home-made or store bought
  • Egg wash made from 1 egg beaten with 1 Tbsp water
For the Eggs
  • 10 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives or green onion
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley or basil
  • 2 tsp snipped fresh tarragon or fresh or dried oregano
  • salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tbsp / 42g butter
For the Rest of the Filling
  • 6 large red bell peppers (or a 16oz jar or two of roasted red peppers)
  • 1 1/2 lbs / 680g spinach
  • 1 Tbsp / 14g olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp / 14g butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 8 oz / 225g Swiss cheese
  • 8 oz / 225g smoked turkey or ham

instructions:

How to cook Tourte Milanese

Make the Crust
  1. Generously grease an 8in / 20cm springform pan.
  2. Cut off 1/4 of the puff pastry, cover, and set aside.
  3. Roll out the remaining pastry to 1/4" thick round. Be sure to roll it thin enough so it will have a chance to be baked all the way through in the oven. It should be big enough to cover the bottom and sides of your springform pan with an overhang. Carefully press into pan, being sure to press all the way into the corners. Cover and refrigerate.
  4. Roll out the remaining 1/4 of puff pastry until it is 1/4" thick. Cut out an 8 in / 20cm circle, using an 8 in / 20cm pie plate or cake tin as a template. Place on a plate or baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate.
Make the Eggs
  1. Whisk eggs, herbs, salt and pepper together. Melt butter in a skillet over low heat and pour in eggs. Gently stir, continuously moving the setting eggs towards the center and allowing runny eggs to reach the bottom of the pan. When the whole mixture has started to thicken, but still a bit runny, remove from heat and pour onto a plate. Cover and refrigerate and until ready to use.
Roast the Peppers
  1. Skip this step if you bought roasted red peppers.
  2. Method 1: Place peppers over an open flame on your stove top until blackened. Flip and allow second side to roast. Repeat until all peppers have been roasted.
  3. Method 2: Place all peppers onto a tinfoil lined sheet pan. Place under broiler in your oven, checking every few minutes, until peppers are blackened. Turn peppers over and roast second side.
  4. Once peppers have been roasted, place in an airtight container or ziploc bag for about 20 minutes to steam.
  5. Remove peppers and rub the skin off. Cut out the stems and slice from top to bottom, laying them flat. Remove seeds and trim away any inside veins.
  6. Place peppers on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any excess liquid, cover, and refrigerate.
Blanch and Sauté the Spinach
  1. Bring a large amount of salted water to a boil. Add spinach and blanch for 1 minute. Drain in a colander and rinse in cold water to stop it from cooking. Press the spinach to remove excess liquid.
  2. Place oil, butter, and garlic in a large frying pan over medium heat. When garlic starts to sizzle, add blanched spinach and sauté for 3 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Remove from heat and transfer spinach to a plate lined with paper towels. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
Assemble the Tourte
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C.
  2. Remove the pastry lined pan from the fridge, along with your eggs, peppers, spinach, cheese, and turkey/ham. Layer your ingredients in this order, laying them flat and spreading to the edge:
  3. Half of eggs
  4. Half of spinach
  5. Half of turkey/ham
  6. Half of cheese
  7. All the peppers
  8. Other half of cheese
  9. Other half of turkey/ham
  10. Other half of spinach
  11. Other half of eggs
  12. Trim the pastry overhang to within 1 in / 2.5cm of the pan. Brush the inner side with egg wash and fold over filling. Brush the other side with more egg wash.
  13. Remove the round pastry top from fridge, re-rolling if it has shrunk any. Place over the folded edges of the tourte, pressing down to seal it. Brush with more egg wash. Cut a vent in the center of the dough, or use a knife to trace a design. Or, you can cut out shapes form the puff pastry scraps and decorate the top. Brush shapes with more egg wash. Chill assembled tourte in fridge for 30 minutes prior to baking.
  14. Place tourte on a tinfoil lined baking sheet and bake for 1 hour 10 minutes - 1 hour 30 minutes, or until pastry is puffed and a deep golden brown.
  15. Cool for 30 minutes before releasing from pan and serving.
  16. Can be assembled a day ahead. Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. To reheat, place in an oven preheated to 350°F / 177°C for 20-30 minutes.

NOTES:

Before layering in the filling, I suggest sprinkling the bottom with a grated hard cheese, such as parmesan, or bread crumbs, to avoid the soggy-bottom syndrome. I did a combo of cheese and bread crumbs. For the herbed scrambled eggs, chives, parsley, and tarragon combo is more traditional, but I prefer green onion, basil, and oregano. To be completely honest I've never had tarragon, but from what I've read I can't say I have a real desire to. Feel free to use whichever color peppers you like! I roasted multi-colored mini sweet peppers. The white from the eggs (ish), green from the spinach, and red from the peppers is supposed to resemble the colors of the Italian flag, but hey. I'm just making Italy more colorful than it already it is. 1 1/2 lbs of spinach may seem like a lot, but it really cooks down. Play around with cheeses! You'll want softer cheeses, ones that melt well. Think cheddar, gruyere, havarti, gouda, brie...I opted for half Swiss and half dill havarti. Two beautiful melting cheeses. I pulled the tourte from the oven after 1 hour 10 minutes, but it could have used more time to bake the pastry all the way through. It can be difficult to tell as your only clue is the color of the pastry.

Calories

653.54

Fat (grams)

44.19

Sat. Fat (grams)

13.43

Carbs (grams)

38.20

Fiber (grams)

4.08

Net carbs

34.12

Sugar (grams)

5.94

Protein (grams)

27.68

Sodium (milligrams)

762.57

Cholesterol (grams)

308.66
Nutritional information is approximate and based on 8 servings.
Created using The Recipes Generator