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Spinach & Red Pepper Phyllo Tart

Brought to a potluck dinner last Sunday...

Spinach & Red Pepper Phyllo Tart/Torta/Pie

1/2 box phyllo (or "filo") pastry, about 20 sheets
about 1/2 cup butter, melted, or olive oil
16 oz. package frozen chopped spinach
16 oz. ricotta
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon grated or ground nutmeg
1 jar Trader Joe's Red Pepper Spread with Eggplant & Garlic (or ajvar; remember ajvar?)

Thaw the phyllo and the spinach in the refrigerator overnight. About an hour before starting, let the phyllo sit out on the counter to get to room temperature (but keep it in its wrapping until everything else is ready). 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Melt the butter in a small bowl and set to one side. Drain the spinach, pressing out as much liquid as possible. Put the dried spinach in a large bowl and mix with the ricotta, eggs, and nutmeg.  Use some of the melted butter or oil to grease a 9" x 13" pan. 

Open the package of phyllo and unroll the sheets.  Use one sheet at a time and cover the others with a piece of plastic wrap or foil immediately after (this keeps the sheets pliable, otherwise they dry out and tear).  Put the sheet in the bottom of the pan and brush lightly with melted butter or oil.  (You'll need a pastry brush or a very light touch.)  Add another sheet of dough and do the same.  When you've put down about 8-12 sheets, spread the spinach-ricotta mixture over the dough.  Try not to press down too hard; you want to keep the bottom sheets nice and flaky.  Spread the red pepper mix over the top of the spinach-ricotta, then go back to layering phyllo sheets, brushing each with the butter or oil still, for another 8-12 sheets.   Brush the top sheet well, and score the top few sheets of pastry into squares or diamonds serving size pieces with a very sharp knife.   Bake for 50 minutes, till the filling is set and the top is nicely browned.  Remove and let cool uncovered, then slice along the score lines. 
  

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