Aviya is not ready to give up this Mina de Espinaka, or Matzah and Spinach pie for the entirety of the year, and replaces the matzah with lasagna noodles and potato flour with white flour. The most suitable cheese for the pie is dry Tzfatit, which you can buy in delicatessens. You can replace it with Turkish Tulum cheese or Parmesan, which is more readily available.
Ingredients for Matzah and Spinach Pie
For the spinach filling:
- 5 bunches (about 3.3 lbs/1.5 kg) spinach washed and dried
- 1.1 lbs (500 grams) 5% white cheese or quark cheese
- ⅓ cup Tzfatit cheese Grated or Turkish Tulum or Parmesan cheese
- 8.8 oz (250 grams) 5% cottage cheese
For the potato béchamel:
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons potato flour
- 2 eggs
- 4-5 matzahs
- olive oil
1. Heat the oven to 340F (170C) degrees.
Prepare the spinach filling:
2. Put the spinach in a dry pot - without oil or liquid - and cook over medium heat while stirring occasionally. At first the spinach will release liquid, but it will evaporate. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Mix the spinach with the cheeses (white, cottage and Tzfatit) in a bowl.
Prepare the béchamel sauce:
3. Boil milk in a pot, add potato flour and mix well until a paste is formed. Remove from the heat and stir in the eggs.
Assemble and bake:
4. Moisten the matzahs for to soften slightly. Grease the pan with olive oil and place half of the amount of matzah in the bottom of the pan, breaking off pieces as needed to cover completely.
5. Pour the spinach and cheese mixture over the matzah and spread into an even layer.
6. Pour half of the béchamel over the spinach.
7. Place another layer of moistened matzah on top of the béchamel so that it covers it completely. Pour the remaining half of the béchamel mixture over the matzahs and cover the pan with baking paper and aluminum foil.
8. Bake the pie for an hour. Raise the temperature in the oven to 395F (200C) degrees and remove the foil. Bake for about 10 more minutes until the top layer is nice and brown.