mangiabenepasta.com Your place for traditional Italian recipes
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.
Filling: 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 4 eggs 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
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.