The other day I looked at the array of cookbooks, cooking magazines, printouts of recipes, and random stuff spilling off my kitchen window seat and decided enough was enough. It’s time to pare down. Of course, I can’t really do that until I decide which recipes to keep and which to toss…so I’m just going to have to cook my way through all of them.
I decided to start with my personal recipe collection, a vaguely organized mess that fills two 3-inch binders. Some of the recipes are favorites, some I’ve never made but always thought I would someday, and some I think I made and didn’t like, but didn’t bother to remove.
Now I’m on a mission to try them all, keep the good ones, and standardize the format while I’m at it. You never know, I might just publish the thing when I’m done.
Which brings us to Spinach Pie. Back when I worked in downtown Dallas, the basement of my high-rise office building held several restaurants. One of them made this divine Italian thing (or maybe it was Greek?) that was a cheesy, spinach and ham filling surrounded by a crust and topped with marinara sauce. It was divine. And then the restaurant closed. I mourned.
The following is my attempt to create that dish; I started with a Kraft recipe and made several modifications along the way. It may still need something (onions? artichoke? a more enticing name?) but it’s good enough to eat and good enough to share. And so I give you…
1 pkg. frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed, well drained
1/4 cup chopped cooked ham (1/2 inch cubes preferred)
1-1/2 cups shredded cheese (Cheddar or your favorite mix of flavors)
Marinara sauce (I used Emeril’s last time out, it was yummy)
HEAT oven to 400°F.
SPRAY 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Roll 1 sheet of pastry into a 12-inch shape; roll second sheet slightly smaller, about 11 inches.
LINE springform pan with bigger pastry square.
BEAT eggs in medium bowl with whisk until well blended. Reserve 1 Tbsp. egg. Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT marinara sauce; mix well.
COVER with remaining pastry square. Fold and tuck pastry edges into pan to enclose filling;* pinch edges together to seal.
BRUSH top crust with reserved egg; cut slits in crust to permit steam to escape. Bake 45 to 55 min. or until golden brown. Cool 10 min. Run knife around edge of pan to loosen crust from rim of pan. Remove rim. Cut into slices and serve topped with heated marinara sauce.
*You’ll want to cut off the corners of the top piece, otherwise you’ll end up with ginormous clumps of puff pastry that are neither attractive nor particularly tasty. That’s why I only included a photo of a cut piece and not the whole pie. Just keeping it real.