Italian Vegetable Pie
(Makes 6 main course or 12 appetizer servings)
Italian Vegetable Pie, filled with mushrooms, spinach, roasted red peppers, and cheese, is a
wonderful vegetarian main dish or appetizer. The pie is a delicious addition to a brunch or buffet
table. It can be made ahead of time and reheated; it also freezes well. We have included a recipe for Basic Pie Pastry but you may also use ready-made double-crust pie pastry.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound white mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, cooked and well drained
1 tablespoon flour
15 ounces ricotta cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup diced mozzarella cheese
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper
6 ounces roasted red peppers, cut into strips
Pastry for 2-crust 10-inch pie
Egg glaze: 1 egg and 1 tablespoon sour cream
Optional: Traditional Tomato Sauce for dipping
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
To make the filling:
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Cook until the mushrooms are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the spinach; cook until the liquid is evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in the flour; remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, ricotta, Parmesan, mozzarella, and nutmeg. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Stir 1 cup of the egg and cheese mixture into the mushroom mixture.
To assemble the pie:
On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the pastry into a 13-inch round. Line a 10-inch deep dish pie plate with the pastry; the dough will hang over the edges.
Spread 2 cups of the mushroom mixture over the bottom of the pie crust. Then spread 1 cup of the cheese mixture over the mushrooms. Add a layer of the red pepper strips. Spread the remaining mushrooms and then the remaining cheese mixture. Roll the remaining pastry to a 12-inch round. Place the pastry over the filling. Fold top crust over the bottom around the rim of the pie plate; flute the edges. Cut slits in the top crust so that steam can escape during baking. Reroll any pastry scraps to decorate the top crust.
In a small bowl, combine the egg and sour cream. Brush the egg glaze over the top crust and fluted edges. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet to catch any drippings. Bake for 1 hour over until golden brown. Allow to cool on wire rack for 20 minutes before serving. Cut into wedges to serve.
Optional: Use tomato sauce for dipping, if desired.
Basic Pie Pastry
(Makes a double crust for a 9-1/2 to 10 inch pie)
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
1/2 cup cold water
Put the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 5 to 6 times to blend. Scatter the butter and shortening over the flour. Pulse several times to cut the butter/shortening into the flour. Add half of the water and pulse a few times. Add the remaining water until the dough starts to come together. Remove the dough from the bowl. Divide the dough in half. Form the dough into balls; flatten the balls into disks. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight before rolling.
Italian Vegetable Pie
GREAT PASTRY BOARD
Large hard maple surface is perfect for kneading bread dough, rolling out pizza or pie dough or working with pastry dough.
It has a 1-1/2 inch lip on both sides to prevent it from sliding around while you're working on it. Keep one side smooth for working with dough and use the reverse side as a cutting board.
Layer in a sandwich with goat cheese and arugula
Simmer in chicken stock and puree for soup
Blend into prepared hummus
JARRED ROASTED PEPPERS have all the flavor of homemade but you save time and effort. And they're delicious even when peppers are out of season.
MINI FOOD PROCESSOR
This compact and lightweight 4 cup mini food processor is ideal for every day use - whether you want to eat healthier, be more creative, or just save time on meal prep.