Savory 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 links. 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, first course, as part of a buffet or potluck event, in which case it will serve more people.
- 1 batch double crust pie dough (see the similar and related recipes)
- 5 large red bell peppers
- 1 package (10 ounces) frozen leaf spinach, thawed and drained
- 2 tablespoons butter, preferably unsalted
- Approximately 1 tablespoon cream
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 3/4 pound prosciutto, ham or salami, thinly sliced
- 1 pound Italian fontina, sharp provolone or asiago cheese, thinly sliced
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
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.