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Italian Meatball Spinach Pie

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Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (20 ounce) package frozen precooked meatballs
6 eggs
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 cup ricotta cheese
4 cups shredded Havarti cheese
2 rounds pie crust dough

Italian Meatball Spinach Pie

  • Serves 6
  • Medium

About This Recipe

With everything happening in the world today (hurricanes, mass shootings, unemployment, general unrest), it’s easy to fall back on familiar old things, such as recipes you treasure, foods that are comforting, and the same old meals. But after a while, repeating yourself gets uncomfortable. Time to spice things up.

Everyone has had pie, of course. Pie is wonderful. Pie is the stuff of life. Cherry pie, apple pie, blueberry pie, chocolate pie, and even fancy pies like salted caramel banana toffee pie are pretty common. Now it’s time to turn to savory pies.

This pie was originally made with cooked Italian sausages. That ingredient can be pretty irritating to cook. You have to brown the sausages, make sure they are cooked through, drain them, then cut them into bite size pieces while the casing falls off and you softly swear under your breath.

So let’s simplify things.

Use precooked meatballs instead of the sausage!

That ingredient change made this recipe easier to make. I wouldn’t say this is an easy recipe, but it’s doable. You just have to master pie crust! And that’s super simple with my easy and foolproof recipe for Hot Water Pie Crust.

But if you aren’t a pie baker, use a refrigerated pie crust dough. They aren’t quite as good a homemade, but let’s take things one step at a time.

When you bring this beautiful pie to the table, people will gasp. It looks impressive. It’s high and gorgeous and browned and the aroma is incredible.

It’s just what you need to propel yourself back into the world. And fortify yourself against the bad stuff.

Why this recipe works:

  • The recipe was originally made with sliced sausages, but they made the pie hard to cut and eat. Meatballs are more tender and blend better with the filling.
  • Really really drain that spinach well. About 90 grams out of 100 grams of spinach is water. If you don’t drain it well, the filling will be too runny and will not set.
  • The combination of cheeses and eggs sets up the structure for the filling. As the pie bakes, the proteins in these ingredients denature, which means they spread out, then form a network and solidify.
  • Let the pie cool for 10-15 minutes after you take it out of the oven so the filling can set up and the pie slices nicely.

 

Steps

1
Done

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2
Done

Put the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.

3
Done

Add the frozen meatballs to the skillet and lower the heat to medium low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender and the meatballs are thawed, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

4
Done

In a large bowl, combine the eggs and ricotta and beat well. Stir in the spinach until combined, then add the Havarti cheese.

And when I say drain the spinach, I mean DRAIN the spinach! Press it between paper towels and get most of the liquid out, or the pie will be a soggy mess. Not what you want.

5
Done

Add the meatball mixture from the skillet to the bowl with the egg mixture and stir gently to combine.

6
Done

Now line a pie plate with one of the pie crust rounds. Spoon the filling into the crust.

7
Done

Top with the second crust. Seal the edges of the two crusts together and flute them. Cut a few 1" slashes in the center of the pie to let steam escape.

8
Done

Bake the pie for 1 hour and 10 to 15 minutes, or until it is deep golden brown. Let the pie stand on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before you slice it.

lindaBest

lindaBest

Linda is a home economist who has authored 40 books (39 cookbooks and Medical Ethics for Dummies). She has worked for Pillsbury since 1988, on the Bake-Off and other projects. Linda has been a web presence since 2002, developing recipes and teaching people how to cook.

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