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Spinach Ring

ingredients

serves 4
1 kg (2 lb) spinach
75 g (3 oz) butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
50 g (2 oz) plain flour
300 ml (1/2 pt) milk
50 g (2 oz) Parmesan cheese
3 eggs

sauce

15 - 30 ml (1 - 2 tbsp) oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
425 g (15 oz) can tomatoes, mashed
15 ml (1 tbsp) tomato puree
salt and freshly ground
black pepper

method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C (375°F) Gas 5. Grease a 1.7 litre (3 pt) ring mould.

2. Wash the spinach and discard tough stalks.

3. Pack spinach into a large pan with 15 g (l oz) of the butter and seasoning and cover tightly.

4. Cook over a low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until spinach is soft. Drain and puree in a blender.

5. Melt the rest of the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan and add the flour, stirring.

6. Gradually add the milk, stirring continuously.

7. Stir in the cheese and season. Stir until sauce bubbles and thickens, then turn down the heat and cook for a further minute.

8. Mix thoroughly with the spinach.

9. Separate the eggs. Beat the yolks into the spinach mixture.

10. Whisk the whites until soft peaks have formed and fold into the mixture.

11. Pour the mixture into the ring mould and bake for 30 - 40 minutes until risen and lightly set.

12. Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion and garlic.

13. Fry, stirring, until transparent. Add the tomatoes, reserving the juice.

14. Add the tomato puree and season. Simmer for 5 minutes adding more juice and adjusting seasoning if necessary.

15. To turn out the spinach ring, dip the mould into ice-cold water for a few seconds.

16. Run a knife blade round edges of mould. Invert onto a warmed plate.

17. Spoon over the sauce and serve with wholewheat bread or new potatoes and a crunchy salad.

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