Via Italia. The crust for this tart is spaghetti (or spaghettini, fettucine, linguine). It’s a great use for leftover pasta, even pasta that has been sauced. Pasta strands or ribbons seem to work best here, though I think that macaroni or other smaller shaped pasta would do. I’ve never made this with pasta such as penne or rotini, so I can’t recommend them, yet. Again, try other greens here, cooking until tender.

I really liked forming the crust with the pliant strands of pasta. It reminded me of finger painting, back in my elementary school days…

Crust:
8 oz pasta, as above
2 T oil, plus extra for greasing pan
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh, chopped herb, or dried herb, to taste

Filling:
1 – 2 T oil
1 c chopped onion
10 -12 c chopped spinach
oil, if needed
2 c ricotta cheese, or cottage cheese
4 T Parmesan or Romano cheese, divided
3 – 4 eggs
salt and pepper, to taste
(fresh) grated nutmeg, to taste

1. Cook pasta according to package instructions or your personal preference. Drain. Toss with the oil, salt, pepper, and herb. Grease a suitable baking pan–a large pie pan or a square pan. Press the pasta into the baking vessel, on the bottom and up the sides, trying to to cover as much of the pan’s surface as you can (this is the finger painting part). The pasta will retain its shape, you’ll see. Set aside.

2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a skillet. Add onion and sauté for about 6 or so minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted and tender. Either cook off the liquid or drain the spinach/onion mixture. Press out more liquid from the spinach.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Place a rack in the middle of the oven. In a bowl, mix the ricotta, 2 T of the cheese, eggs, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Fold in the spinach mixture. Scrape into the prepared baking pan and sprinkle with the remaining 2 T of cheese. Bake until the filling is set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool about 10 minutes–this will make it easier to slice. Eat.