Sformato di Spinaci Recipe

A “sformato” is the Italian word for a savoury flan. It’s easy to make, but has a sophisticated look to it. You’ll find sformati all over Italy, often incorporating seasonal vegetables with ricotta and a type of local cheese. This sformato di spinaci has spinach and Parmigiano Reggiano.

The ramekins with the spinach filling are placed in a roasting tray with hot water (au bain marie). This ensures even cooking and prevents the sformati from drying out.

Served with a rich cheese cream, a sformato di spinaci is great as an easy, festive starter. Pair with an unoaked Italian white, such as the Vallena Soave. The wine, made from the indigenous grape Garganega, is dry and light-bodied on the palate, with energetic acidity and a long, mouthwatering finish. Orchard fruits dominate both on the nose and the palate: peach and apple, along with pear and nectarine. 

For the Parmigiano cream, slowly bring cream to a boil in a non-stick saucepan. Mix the Parmigiano Reggiano in until smooth.

Sformato di Spinaci Recipe

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Recipe by WineCollective Course: StarterCuisine: Italian
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  • For the sformati
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 300 g spinach

  • 2 eggs

  • 200 g ricotta

  • 40 g Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated (or Grana Padano)

  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour

  • 1 pinch nutmeg

  • 20 g pine nuts, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp whole milk

  • 1 knob butter

  • breadcrumbs

  • For the Parmigiano cream topping:
  • 200 ml heavy cream

  • 40 g Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated (or Grana Padano)

  • Also needed:
  • 4 ramekins (7 cm in diameter)

  • roasting pan


  • Preheat the oven to 180 ºC (350 ºF).
  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan, and wilt the spinach over medium heat. In a sieve, squeeze as much liquid out as possible and chop it finely.
  • In a bowl, mix the eggs, ricotta, grated cheese, flour and spinach, and season with a little salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add the pine nuts, a tablespoon of milk and mix until you have a homogeneous mixture.
  • Grease 4 ramekins with butter and dust a fine layer of breadcrumbs over the butter. Fill them up with the spinach mixture and place them in a roasting pan that is filled with hot water until two thirds of the ramekins’ height. Place the roasting pan carefully in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. 
  • Take the roasting pan out of the oven (careful there’s hot steam!) and take the ramekins out of the water. Let the sformati cool before taking them out of the ramekins with a knife.
  • For the Parmigiano cream, slowly bring cream to a boil in a non-stick saucepan. Mix the Parmigiano Reggiano in until smooth.
  • Serve each sformato di spinaci with a spoonful of Parmigiano cream on top. Optional: to garnish, add a leaf of fresh herbs and dust with paprika powder.

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Want to explore more of what Italy has to offer? This recipe is one of four amazing dishes that highlight some of our favourite wines from the region. The vegetable lasagne is the next recipe on our list, what about you?

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