A sformato is similar to a souffle but not as airy so you don’t have to worry about it falling. They almost always contain beaten eggs, and usually a white sauce.
You can make it with vegetables, like mushrooms, spinach or zucchini. I’ve had them with pasta or rice as well.
Traditionally, it is baked in a ring mold, (sformare means to unmold) the well is filled with a stew of some kind. Chicken spazzatino would be delicious.
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, unbleached
- Fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
- 2 1/2 pounds cauliflower (before removal of leaves and core)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/4 cup fine bread crumbs
Heat oven to 325*
In a heavy medium saucepan, combine milk, butter and flour, bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, stir constantly with a wisk until sauce is very thick, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Rinse cauliflower, cut into quarters, and remove core.
Break into flowerettes and rinse in colander.
Put cauliflower in a large pot and cover with water, approximately 8 cups. Add the salt, bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium high, cook until tender. This should take about 20 minutes.
Using a food processor, pulse until cauliflower is finely chopped.
In a large bowl, beat eggs, then whisk in bechamel. Add cauliflower, cheese, salt and pepper, stirring to combine.
Butter a 1 1/2 – 2 quart baking dish, using all the butter and coat with bread crumbs.
Add cauliflower mixture. place on a baking sheet, bake until lightly browned and sformato is set, about 55 minutes.
Remove from oven and let set for 20 minutes if you’re planning to unmold it.
Run a small spatula or flat edge butter knife around the edges to loosen. Using a dinner plate or serving platter, place on top of mold and invert. I fill mine with sauteed spinach or broccolini. I enjoy having two vegetable dishes on one platter and I like the color contrast.