Spinach Sformatino with Pancetta, Radishes, and Spring Onions
Similar to a souffle, but not as airy, the term sformato derives from "sformare," which means to unmold. Serve this savory vegetable sformato from Montagna at the Little Nell chef Ryan Hardy as a side dish or light main course.
- Unsalted butter, for ramekins
- 1 pound baby spinach, plus 16 leaves, for garnish
- 5 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- Coarse salt
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup 1-by-1/2-inch pieces pancetta (about 4 ounces)
- 1/2 cup medium morels, cleaned and halved if necessary
- 1 spring or 8 pearl onions, trimmed and quartered
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- 2 tablespoons sherry-wine vinegar
- 4 radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter the inside of four 4-ounce ramekins; set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil; prepare an ice-water bath and set aside. Add spinach to boiling water and cook until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Drain and transfer to ice-water bath; drain and transfer to a clean kitchen towel. Ring out spinach in towel to dry.
Transfer cooked spinach to the bowl of a food processor along with 1 egg; process until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a large bowl; discard solids. Add ricotta, parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and nutmeg; stir until well combined. Divide spinach mixture evenly between prepared ramekins. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and transfer to oven; bake until set, 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat; add pancetta and cook 3 to 5 minutes. Add morels and onions, continue to cook until morels and onions are soft and fat is completely rendered from pancetta, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and swirl to coat in pan; remove from heat. Add vinegar and season with salt; set vinaigrette aside and keep warm.
Fill a medium saucepan with 4 cups water and bring to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. When water is barely simmering, break one egg into a small heatproof bowl. Placing lip of bowl in the water, gently tip the bowl to slide egg carefully into pan. Cook, stirring water, until whites are just set but yolks are still soft (they should still move around inside), 2 to 3 minutes. Lift out eggs with a slotted spoon or small mesh sieve; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
Remove ramekins from oven and invert each onto a serving plate. Top each with a poached egg and spoon vinaigrette over eggs and garnish with spinach leaves and radish slices; serve immediately.