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Eat this! Sformato, an airy, eggy, Italian way to use seasonal vegetables

Piccolo Sogno’s sformato di zucca (Italian squash flan)

Piccolo Sogno’s sformato di zucca (Italian squash flan)

What it is: A sformato is a molded dish from Italy, typically made with beaten eggs, and falling texturally midway between souffle and flan. It can be sweet or savory.

Tony Priolo

Tony Priolo

Sformati are frequently made with seasonal vegetables, but they can contain almost anything, even macaroni or chocolate. At Piccolo Sogno in West Town, Chef Tony Priolo makes a sformato di zucca from winter squash.

Where it comes from: The word “sformato” derives from the Italian “sformare,” “to unmold.” The dish is a tradition in Piedmont, which boasts a rich French-influenced cuisine.

What to do with it: Typically served as individual antipasti, sformati can form any part of a meal — from appetizer to side dish to main course to dessert.

Piccolo Sogno’s formato di zucca
Italian squash flan
Chef Tony Priolo

Priolo serves this is as a light side dish with veal scaloppine, either set in a pool of buttery, Marsala mushroom sauce or drizzled with aged balsamic and a reduction of shaved parmesan and cream.

2 pounds roasted butternut or acorn squash puree (halve, seed and roast the squash till tender, then force through a food mill or sieve)
2 eggs
1 tablespoon grated grana padano parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
1 cup whipping cream
Sea salt and black pepper-to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter eight 4-ounce ovenproof ramekins.

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together until smooth. Adjust the seasoning with sea salt and black pepper. Pour the mixture to almost the top of the buttered ramekins.

Place in a baking pan with water to come about halfway up the sides, cover and bake for 30 minutes or until the mixture is set and cooked through. Let rest a few moments, unmold and serve. 8 servings.

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