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Italian Pie with Spinach, Red Peppers, Meat and Cheese

Serves 6 to 8 as a main dish

This recipe is based on one from Biba Caggiano called 'Pie of Four Tastes'. It is excellent. I made a few changes, mostly in choices for the meats and cheeses. Others can be used if you prefer. Biba uses a wine flavored pie crust that is delicious with this filling. The recipe, with a savory and sweet version, is in the similar and related recipes. You can substitute your favorite crust, but consider substituting wine for water, as it provides a very special flavor. This makes a wonderful vegetarian dish if you omit the meats and add more vegetables. Serve the pie as a main dish, but it is also appropriate as a first course, part of a buffet or at a potluck event, in which case it will serve more people.


Make the pie dough and chill as directed. Char the peppers under a very hot broiler, on a grill or over a gas flame until skin is well charred. Place in a plastic bag until cool enough to handle. Remove the skin, cut into slices about 1-inch thick; drain well. Sauté the spinach in the butter until tender. Drain excess liquid; add the cream (just enough to moisten slightly) and Parmesan cheese.

Preheat oven to 375° F. Roll half of the pie dough and place in the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan, making certain the edges come up over the sides of the pan. Place a layer of meat slices in bottom. Top with some of the spinach, then peppers and then cheese. Continue to layer, ending with cheese slices. It should make 3 layers in all. Roll out remaining dough and place on top. Crimp together the edges of the bottom and top crusts. Brush the top with the beaten egg; prick so that steam can escape. Bake until crust is golden and done, about 1 hour. Allow pie to cool on a rack at least 15 minutes before serving. It is equally delicious warm or room temperature.