Okay, it's really meat and cheese pie but I like the way meat pie sounds better. This vaguely Italian savory pie should be trotted out on Saturday for football with the boys, or brunch with the girls, served with some fresh fruit and some sort of a green salad. I know, I know, that menu doesn't sound very manly - but trust me, the boys will gobble up this rich and meaty dish. Meat pie sounds so much manlier than quiche. Rest assured, boys, this isn't a quiche, but a distant cousin, the ricotta pie.
It's one of those recipes that you can change up to use what you have on hand. The basic ricotta, egg and mozzarella cheese trio serves as a base for combinations only limited by the contents of your fridge. Ham, bacon, prosciutto, mushrooms, spinach, carrots, broccoli, pesto, sun dried tomatoes... I could go on and on. Really, just about anything works. No need for precise measurements... just shoot for around 4-6 servings of meat, 4-6 servings of veggies and whatever flavorings you like.
Because I try to cram several servings of vegetables into every dish I make - I decided to make this version with spinach, mushrooms, and onions. I figure that along with the meat, cheese and crust - its a perfect food! Perfect foods contain everything on the food pyramid all rolled into one. Meat, check. Dairy, check. Grains, check. Veggies, check! Have some fruit on the side... and you're FDA approved with this menu choice. (This recipe has not actually been FDA approved, duh.)
Sausage Spinach and Mushroom Pie
- 1 refrigerated pie crust (I use the boxed Pillsbury kind)
- 15 oz. ricotta cheese (lowfat)
- 10-12 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 8 oz. feta cheese
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 lb. tube reduced fat Italian sausage
- 1 bag fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 cups button mushrooms
- 2 Tbsp. basil pesto
Preheat oven to 350F. In a skillet, brown Italian sausage. Remove sausage from pan and use any drippings to saute the onions and mushrooms until soft, about 6-7 minutes. Stir in the fresh spinach with the onions and mushrooms and cook for about one minute. Remove from heat, return sausage to the veggie mixture, mix and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella, feta and parmesan cheeses. Stir in beaten eggs and pesto. Mix the meat and veggies into the cheeses and pour into a prepared pie shell. Bake pie for approximately 45 - 55 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The pie will get nice and goden brown on top and will bubble around the edges when done. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and serve. Serves 6-8.