A sformato is basically a custard. Different from a frittata, it isn’t fried, but gently baked in a water bath. There is no golden-brown exterior–simply pale, rich softness, inside and out. This is the perfect light supper or appetizer for guests, since the sformato simply bakes in a low oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, then can rest for up to an hour prior to serving–it’s best luke-warm. It requires no last-minute fussing, other than unmolding it prior to serving.
I happened to have a small container of tuscan kale pesto left from last week, which is the perfect base for a custard. Since I’m dining alone this evening, this is the perfect individual serving–much more compact than a frittata, requiring only one egg.
I’ll give you the recipe based on one sformato, so you can easily multiply it to suit the number of guests at your table. I like to serve it on a bed of arugula and tomatoes, tossed with lemon and olive oil.
Needless to say, it makes a great brunch or lunch dish as well.
Sformato of Tuscan Kale
1/4 c Tuscan Kale Pesto
2 tbls fresh ricotta
2 tbls grated parmigiano
1 large egg
4 mint leaves, sliced into 1/4″ ribbons
salt and pepper to taste (if the pesto is adequately salted, you’ll need merely a pinch of salt to season the egg)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
In a bowl, combine the eggs, pesto, cheese, mint and pepper.
Mix with a fork and pour into buttered ramekin.
Fill a skillet with enough water to come three-quarters of the way up the sides of the ramekin and bring to a simmer. Turn off heat and gently place the ramekin in the water.
Place skillet in oven for approximately 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the tip of a paring knife inserted into the custard, comes out clean.
Remove from water bath, and allow to cool for about a half-hour (up to an hour) in its ramekin, then unmold and serve.