An alternative to stuffed baked pasta with these leeks stuffed with a classic ricotta and spinach filling. I've blanched the leeks in boiling water before proceeding and instead of bechamelle, I've opted for a simpler and lighter Parmigiano cream just perfect for au gratin at the end.
Serves 4, Preparation 20 min, Cooking about 25-30 min
- 4 medium/large sized leeks
- 250 g Ricotta cheese
- 150 g grated Parmigiano cheese + a bit more if needed
- Spinach fresh or frozen, 150 g
- 200 ml milk
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- Butter – 1 tbsp
- EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to taste
- salt, a pinch
Wash and clean the leeks, remove the two ends and cut each leek into two or even three pieces. Blanch them in hot water for about
4 to 5 minutes or until they softened a bit but still firm, take off them and place under cold water, dry with kitchen paper.
Remove the central part, then peel them, keeping about 2-3 veils of the outer part for each leek. Finely chop the inside of the leek you have just removed.
Squeeze and dry the spinach, then chop it.Tip: Use the same water in which you blanched the leeks to blanch the spinach – it only takes a few minutes.
Stir-fry the chopped leek in a pan with a tbsp of butter and a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the ricotta and chopped spinach, stir.
Fill the leeks with the mixture.
Heat the milk – without bringing it to the boil – gradually add the grated Parmigiano, stirring continuosly until you get a smooth cream.
Preheat the oven to 180 C.
Oil an oven dish and place the stuffed leeks next to each other, then cover them with the milk and cheese mixture evenly. Decorate with the sprigs of thyme and bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 mins, activate the grill function for further 2 mins. Ready.