Ricotta and spinach bites
- Difficulty: Very easy
- Prep time: 25 min
- Cook time: 25 min
- Makes: 24 pieces
- Cost: Low
Meat balls with sauce? Today we'll leave the great classics to one side because we have in mind some tantalizing vegetarian bites made with ricotta cheese and spinach! One of the most successful pairings in the kitchen, spinach and ricotta cheese have been reunited once more, this time to make these exquisite bite-sized fried balls. A recipe enjoyed by children and grown-ups alike, with the perfect filling used to make Sunday cannelloni! Easy to make and even easier to enjoy! A word of advice however, be sure to make lots, as ricotta and spinach bites will disappear from your table in a flash!
- Ingredients for around 24 bites
- Spinach 8 oz (250 g) - already cleaned
- Cow's milk ricotta cheese 1 cup (250 g)
- Grana Padano DOP cheese 1 oz (50 g) - (for grating)
- Breadcrumbs 4 tbsp (40 g)
- Extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp (20 g)
- Garlic 1 clove
- Fine salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
How to prepare Ricotta and spinach bites
To prepare spinach and ricotta bites, start by heating the oil with a whole garlic clove 1; add the previously washed spinach and saut? on a high flame for 5-6 minutes; stir frequently 2 to sweat thoroughly 3.
Remove the garlic 4 and drain the spinach in a colander: press down lightly with a spatula to remove the excess water and leave to cool 5; once cold, coarsely chop them with a knife 6.
Now place the ricotta cheese in a bowl (drain any excess water beforehand) and stir with a spoon 7; add the spinach and the grated cheese 8 salt and pepper to taste, and stir 9.
For added consistency, add the breadcrumbs 10 and continue to mix 11. As soon as the mixture is ready you can make the balls. Take some of the mixture, around 1 1/3 tbsp, and shape by hand 12;
you should end up with 24-26 small balls 13. Delicately dip each one in a bowl in which you will have beaten the eggs with salt and pepper 14 and then in another bowl with the breadcrumbs 15.
Continue in this way until you finish them all and place them on an oven tray lined with parchment paper (16-17). Bake the spinach and ricotta cheese balls in a static oven preheated to 390°F (200°C) for around 20 minutes. Serve them piping hot!
If you prefer, you can store spinach and ricotta bites for 1-2 days at most, in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap; heat them up in the oven or microwave before serving! Freezing is not recommended.
Be sure to thoroughly strain the spinach, otherwise the mixture will be too watery. If it still ends up too soft, you can add more grated cheese, like Pecorino or Parmigiano Reggiano PDO, so that it's easier to shape into balls. If you prefer, instead of baking them in the oven, you can fry the balls in seed oil.