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Polenta al Forno With Spinach, Ricotta and Fontina


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  • 1 pound spinach
  • 2 cups ricotta
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 4 ounces fontina or Swiss cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Basic soft polenta (see recipe), kept warm


Adapted from


Step 1


Blanch spinach briefly in a large pot of boiling water, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and cool. Squeeze all excess moisture from spinach and roughly chop.
In a large bowl, combine chopped spinach and ricotta. Season with salt and pepper, then add cayenne, lemon zest, half the Parmesan and all but 2 tablespoons of the fontina and stir well.
Butter a 9- by 12-inch casserole dish. Ladle in half of the warm, soft polenta and spread with a spatula to make a thin layer. Spoon spinach mixture evenly over it. Top with remaining soft polenta and spread to smooth the surface. (May be made ahead up to this point, then covered and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before baking.)
Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and fontina. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, until nicely browned. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
YIELD 6 to 8 servings

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