Pesto Squares

St. Patty's, Spaghetti

Patty's Pesto Squares

Irish-Italiano 

This St. Patty's Day offer your guests mouth watering spinach spaghetti layered with veal, ricotta & mozzarella cheeses & topped with a fresh pesto sauce.

 

16 ounce box, spinach spaghetti noodles (Whole Foods)

2 eggs, whisked

1 pound ground veal

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 egg yolks

2 cups ricotta cheese

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Pesto Sauce (recipe below)

 

Cook spaghetti in salted water, according to instructions, drain and set aside.  Spray spaghetti with a little warm water while still in colander to keep from sticking together.  Place the veal in a medium sized skillet, season with the salt and black pepper and brown over a medium heat.  Mix the 2 egg yolks into the ricotta cheese.  Lightly brush a 9"x13" baking dish with olive oil.  Place spaghetti in a large bowl and using your hands, lightly mix in the 2 whisked eggs.  Place half of the egg coated spaghetti noodles in the bottom of the baking dish, spreading out evenly.  Mix the cooked veal with half of the pesto sauce and spread out evenly on top of the spaghetti noodles. Spread the ricotta cheese evenly over the top of the veal and then the shredded mozzarella.  Top with the remaining spaghetti noodles, being sure to spread out evenly.  Gently press all over the top with your hands to lightly compact.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Cover the top with aluminum if spaghetti noodles look like their starting to brown.  Remove from oven, let cool and refrigerate over night. When ready to serve, cut into squares and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Reheat in oven at 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes.  Remove from oven and brush/dab each square generously with pesto and place on a platter.  Make shamrocks by placing 3 small spinach leaves together on top of every other sliced square.  Serve warm.  Vegetarians: Omit the veal and mix 1/2 of the pesto in with ricotta cheese. 

 

Pesto Sauce

1/3 cup pine nuts

1 tablespoon fresh chopped garlic

2 cups fresh spinach leaves

2 cups fresh basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

 

Pulse the pine nuts and garlic in a food processor for about 15-20 seconds.  Add the spinach, basil and salt and pulse.  Stream in the olive oil while pulsing.  Add the Parmesan cheese and pulse.