Spinach Timbales with Tomato Sauce, Valentine’s Day? Non!

Just say ‘NON’ to Valentine’s Day.

Okay, maybe that’s not the approach for everyone, but I do think the hype and expectations surrounding a day that used to be for paper hearts and little sugar candies has gotten a bit over the top.

For many, the expectations get so high that disappointment, regardless of the effort, is inevitable.

As for us, we took care of the whole issue right at the start.

We broke up on Valentine’s Day.

If one starts at the bottom, one can only go up… Right?

Add a bit of ‘fancy’ comfort food and all’s right with the world once again.

These simple timbales go together quickly and make a lovely presentation when unmolded, especially onto a white plate, with the red tomato sauce. 

Puréed whole tomatoes have a much fresher taste (reminiscent of summer) than commercial tomato sauce.  

Spinach Timbales with Tomato Sauce

Total time: 35 minutes


  • 6oz (180gr) frozen spinach 
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) shredded cheese
  • 1 tbs Dijon-style mustard
  • pinch of nutmeg, freshly grated is nice (a pinch is a very small amount; between 1/8th and 1/16th tsp.
  • Tomato Sauce:
  • 2 cups (15oz, 450gr) whole tomatoes
  • 1 tsp basil

Spinach Timbale with Tomato Sauce


  • Thaw spinach – using hot water, microwave, heating on stove top, whatever. 
  • When thawed squeeze out all excess moisture (rinse with cool water first if too hot to handle). 
  • Butter 2 ramekins and line with buttered parchment or waxed paper (see techniques).
  • Put the egg in a medium bowl and beat lightly with a whisk. 
  • Add cheese, mustard and nutmeg and stir to combine. 
  • Add spinach and stir well. 
  • Divide spinach evenly between the 2 ramekins.
  • Put ramekins into a  baking pan (I use a bread pan) with deep sides.  Pour hot water into the pan coming half way up the sides of the ramekins. 
  • Bake in 400F (200C) oven for 20 – 25 minutes, until set; top will be firm. 
  • Remove from oven and carefully remove ramekins from hot water. 
  • Run a knife around edges of timbales and invert onto small plates. 
  • Remove paper. 
  • Spoon tomato sauce on the side and serve.
  • Tomato Sauce:
  • Open and drain tomatoes, reserving juice for another use. 
  • Purée in blender until smooth. 
  • Put into a small saucepan, add basil and heat.

Print Recipe

I’ve told this story before…. But I’m so terribly fond of it I can’t resist telling it again on the anniversary.

What anniversary you ask? More years than I care to admit to. LOL

Mon mari often complains that I never forget anything and, more specifically, that I never forget a date.

I could suggest that, if he wouldn’t choose such inappropriate dates for his actions, perhaps I would be more likely to forget.

And what date and action am I referring to?

Valentine’s Day.

To be honest, I was going to ignore this holiday.  It’s not a big one in our house.

Frankly, we don’t quite know how to celebrate it.

It’s the anniversary of mon mari kicking me out of the house.

To be fair, we had only been living together for just under a year.

To be unfair it was Valentine’s Day, and I had just fixed a lovely dinner for two.

To be really bitchy, he took me out for a night cap before delivering the blow – the better able to insure the minimum scene, what with being out in public with all of our friends.

The timing was good:  he was going away on business at the end of the month, for a week, giving me time alone to move out.

The timing was bad: I was going away on business for two  weeks, leaving the next day, so I would have  no time to find a place to live.

All said, it did work out.

I moved out by the end of the month, let everyone know I was ‘single’ and started dating immediately (admittedly, some were, um, contrived).

He soon regretted his imprudent decision.

We were married in May of the same year.

We didn’t do ‘living together’ well, at all; but we do just fine at this marriage thing….

Still, we don’t normally celebrate Valentine’s Day.

4 thoughts on “Spinach Timbales with Tomato Sauce, Valentine’s Day? Non!”

  1. Hahaha! Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Sir Pickypants and I do celebrate because in the endless dark cold winter, we like having an excuse to get out and focus on each other and do something special to take us out of ourselves.

    I am looking for an idea for an appetizer for my next dinner party. This is now in the running.

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