Did you know that Nutmeg is not one spice, but two?? Yes, that is right, two spices..As the fruit matures, the outer fleshy covering bursts to reveal the seed. The seed is covered with red membranes called an aril, the mace portion of the nutmeg.
Nutmeg is known as Myristica fragrans, the nutmeg tree originates in Banda, the largest of the Molucca spice islands of Indonesia. The English word nutmeg comes from the latin nux, meaning nut, and muscat, meaning musky.
Ancient Middles Eastern physicians used the spice for digestive issues related to the mouth, intestines, liver and spleen, and also for kidney diseases, to combat pain and vomiting and to ease lymphatic ailments.They also used it to lighten freckles and skin blotches.
Medieval Europeans also believed it warded off the plague.
Since most people use Nutmeg in sweet recipes, I am going to give you one that is savory.
RICOTTA AND SPINACH FILING
Recipe by Peggy Trowbridge Filippone
- 10 ounces spinach (cleaned and trimmed)
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup ricotta cheese (preferably fresh, drained for a few minutes in a fine strainer)
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
- Salt (to taste)
- Black pepper (freshly ground, to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (freshly grated)
- Plunge the spinach into a large saucepan of boiling salted water to blanch it. Remove it 30 seconds later. Drain, cool, and chop finely.
- In a medium bowl, combine the spinach with the egg, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, pepper, and nutmeg. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
- Use to fill the pasta immediately, or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.