Spinach and Parmesan Sformati


Top Chef Masters' Lachlan Mackinnon Patterson adds Parmesan to his wonderful spinach custard, then garnishes it with a little more cheese before serving.

Spinach-and-Parmesan Sformati
Photo: © Kate Mathis
Active Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 45 mins


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for coating

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for coating and sprinkling

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  • Kosher salt

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 3/4 pound curly spinach leaves, stemmed

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter six 6-ounce ramekins and dust them with cheese. Set the prepared ramekins in a large baking dish.

  2. In a small saucepan, melt the 4 tablespoons of butter. Over moderate heat, stir in the flour until incorporated, then gradually whisk in the milk until smooth and thick. Cook, whisking often, until no floury taste remains, about 5 minutes. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl, press plastic wrap directly onto the surface and let stand until warm.

  3. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling water, cook the spinach until just tender, about 1 minute. Drain and let cool slightly, then squeeze out as much water as possible. Transfer the spinach to a food processor and puree. Add the white sauce and process until blended. Add the eggs, egg yolk, 1/2 cup of cheese and 1 teaspoon of salt and process until smooth. Pour the sformato mixture into the prepared ramekins. Carefully pour enough hot water into the baking dish to reach halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

  4. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake the sformati for about 1 hour and 5 minutes, until just set. Transfer the ramekins to a work surface; let stand for 5 minutes. Run a small, thin knife around the edge of the ramekins and invert the sformati onto plates. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Fragrant, ripe Arneis from Italy’s Piedmont region.

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