Recipe by Janice Gill
Flaky phyllo surrounds layers of creamy rice and spinach, subtly spiced with cinnamon, raisins and lemon. Can be served as a vegetarian main course or together with cold roast pork
Top Review by Sarah&Hannan
I did not care for this AT ALL. My husband actually liked it somewhat (he gave it two stars), I thought it was really gross. I know I'm being really harsh and I apologize, but I just thought the lemon flavors + the raisins made for a sweet taste only to be drastically out of balance with the spices in the spaghetti sauce. I would NOT recommend this, and I definitely will not make it again. Also, just a note, when it says 2 packages of spinach, I purchased 2- 10 oz packages of spinach, as I started to cook it I realized this is wayyyy too much spinach. I think what the author meant was 2 BUNCHES of spinach. I don't see how it would fit otherwise.
- 1 lemon
- 1 egg
- 2 cups cooked rice
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1⁄2 teaspoon chili flakes, optional
- 2 packages spinach leaves
- 1⁄2 cup raisins
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
- 6 sheets phyllo pastry
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1⁄2 cups thick spaghetti sauce
Directions See How It's Made
- To make rice filling, (can be made a day in advance).
- Finely grate 1 teaspoon (5 mL) lemon peel.
- squeeze out 1 tablespoon (15 mL) lemon juice.
- In a mixing bowl beat egg and stir in rice, ricotta, 1 cup (250 mL) mozzarella, lemon peel and juice.
- To make spinach filling, (can be made a day in advance).
- Heat 1 tablespoon (15 mL) oil in a large frying pan set over medium heat.
- Add onions, garlic and chili flakes, if using.
- Sauté until onions have softened, about 5 minutes.
- Wash and tear spinach into bite-size pieces, discarding stems.
- Add to onions and sprinkle with raisins, cinnamon and salt.
- Stir occasionally, just until wilted, about 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Stir in 1/2 cup (125 mL) mozzarella.
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
- To assemble pie, have fillings ready as phyllo quickly dries out.
- Place a sheet of phyllo worktop, then cover remaining phyllo with dampened paper towel until ready to use.
- Lightly brush both sides of phyllo with oil.
- Place in a 9-inch (23-cm) pie plate so 1 edge of phyllo is even with one edge of oiled plate, covering bottom and sides and hanging over rim on other side.
- Repeat with remaining phyllo, placing each into pie plate so longer ends are evenly spaced in a circular pattern around rim.
- Pour half of rice mixture onto bottom and smooth.
- Top with half of spinach mixture, then spread with 3/4 cup (175 mL) spaghetti sauce.
- Repeat, ending with 3/4 cup (175 mL) spaghetti sauce.
- Bring hanging ends of phyllo up over filling.
- Do not pat down ends of phyllo.
- Phyllo should have a rough appearance.
- Bake in centre of 375°F (190°C) oven until phyllo is golden and centre of filling is hot, about 1 1/4 hours.
- Cool 5 minutes before slicing into wedges.
- If desired you can cover and refrigerate unbaked pie for up to 1 day.
- Bake cold pie in 375°F (190°C) oven from 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours.