Old-School Spinach Dip Gets A Makeover

October 21, 2015
Adding bold Italian ingredients amps up the flavor.
By 
Dan Whalen
Old-School Spinach Dip Gets a Makeover | WGBH | Craving Boston

Whether for the big game, or the onslaught of approaching holiday parties, you need an arsenal of quick, but creative snacks to show up with over the next few months.  This spinach sausage dip is a bolder take on the classic (if slightly outdated) spinach artichoke spread.

I took a note from one of my favorite pizza combos, and, along with sausage, added banana peppers and sundried tomatoes to the mix for acidity and tang. Ricotta cheese stands in for mayo, which plays well with the other Italian ingredients. 

Ingredients 
8 ounces cream cheese
8 ounces ricotta
1 tablespoon butter
1 sweet or spicy italian sausage (about 3/4 of a pound)
8 ounces fresh spinach (chopped, large stems removed)
1/4 cup chopped pickled banana peppers
2 tablespoons chopped sundried tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
  salt and black pepper (to taste)
  pita chips (for serving)
Directions 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Put the cream cheese and ricotta into a large mixing bowl.

3. Melt the butter in a medium-sized frying pan over medium-high heat.

4. Remove sausage from casing and add to pan. Cook for about 5 minutes breaking up into small crumbles, until browned and cooked through. 

5. Add the spinach to the pan and cook, stirring often, until fully wilted and tender, about 4 minutes.

6. Add the sausage and spinach mixture to the cheeses and stir well. The heat from the sausage will help the cheeses soften and allow everything to mix nicely. 

7. To the bowl, add in the banana peppers, sundried tomatoes, garlic powder and pecorino cheese, stirring well to combine. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. 

8. Transfer the mixture into a small baking dish (about 2-cups volume) and bake for approximately 30 minutes, until hot and bubbling.  Serve with pita chips.