Ground Meat, Swiss Chard, Cherry Tomato & Ricotta Bake
Ok, it's not very pretty... But it was very, very tasty! It was easy to make, it was perfect, comfort food, it all got made in one pan and was then popped into the oven to get crisped-up on top whilst I washed-up said pan... And after having done that... All I had to do was to sit back, tuck-in and enjoy!
This dish was a freestyle improvisation, based on the flavors of another, completely different dish that my mother used to make for us when I was but a wee tyke! And with very similar ingredients and flavors... I did manage to recreate that sense of nostalgia that is always the best part of any comfort food dish... Because there's no pl
My mother used to make us cannelloni with a filling of Swiss chard and a ground meat sauce, topped with bechamel, more tomato sauce and grated cheese and baked until golden brown... So irresistible!
This dish has the same flavor components, but put together in a much less complicated way and as I already mentioned, completely different... And yet somehow still the same!
To make 2 servings, I needed 200g of ground beef, 1 small head of Swiss chard, 1 spring onion, 9-10 cherry tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of fresh ricotta, salt, pepper, nutmeg and a couple of tablespoons of bread crumbs for a slightly crispy topping.
And I have already admitted that it isn't pretty, ok? But I do promise you that it DOES taste divine!
To make it, simply fry the ground meat together with the chopped spring onion... You don't need any added oil at all as you can see.
Once the color of the meat has changed from pink to brown, add the chard stalks, cut into bite-sized chunks, pop on the lid and allow to sizzle and steam for 4-5 minutes. In the meantime, halve the cherry tomatoes and then, after the stalks have become translucent and a little softer, add the tomatoes, stir well and continue cooking with the lid on for a further 4-5 minutes.
Next, add the greens, stir well, return the lid and continue steaming for again, another 4-5 minutes.
In the meantime, turn on your oven to get it ready for finishing!
So after around 20 minutes of cooking time, the chard should be tender, the meat nice and brown and the tomatoes juicy and sweet. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and remove from the heat.
Next, add 1-2 spoonfuls of ricotta, a little more nutmeg and stir together well.
Transfer to a small baking dish and press down firmly. Add another tablespoon or so of ricotta on top, season with nutmeg, salt and pepper, sprinkle with bread crumbs and then swirl the surface using a fork to get some decorative crunch going on top.
Bake at 200 C for around 15 minutes and then turn on the broiler to crisp- up the surface until golden brown.
And there you have everything you may need to make a super supper; meat, vegetables, spices and cheese... What's not to like!?!?
Ugly food maybe... Delicious at the same time... Definitely!