Sicilian Spinach Pie

This is the Sicilian version of the Greek spanakopita. It is a usually made during the major holiday seasons. I like to make it whenever I get bored with the usual meal.

Unlike spanakopita, surrounded by a buttery flaky pastry crust, ours is encased in a pizza dough. My mother use to use so much olive oil it was as if it was fried in the oven. Tasted great, but I tune it down slightly to avoid the extra calories. The filling is also a bit different. It is primarily made of spinach with sautéed onions, bread crumbs, sun dried tomatoes, crushed red pepper flakes, salt, raisins and a touch of sugar to enhance the sweetness of the spinach . However each region in Italy makes their own version by using ingredients available to them and their specific taste profiles.

We always looked forward to this dish during the holidays. My only wish is that Mom was still around to make it. She always did add her own touch to the dish that no one has been able to replicate.

Please give it a try. By adding your own touch to this simple food, you will have started your own legacy by touching the hearts of the people you love

Quantity: 1 – 8 or 9-inch pie dish

Oven temperature and cooking time: 350ºF for about 30 to 40 minutes

Equipment

Sautée pan

Colander

Wooden spoon

Cutting board and chef's knife

8 or 9-inch pie dish

Ingredients

Pizza Dough 1 lbs.

Spinach 3 packages (frozen chopped)

Olive oil 1 or 2 Tbsp.

Onion 1 medium (finely sliced)

Red Pepper flakes 1/2 tsp. or to taste

Salt 1/2 tsp. or to taste

Bread crumbs 1/2 cup

Sun dried tomato 1 to 2 Tbsp.

Raisins 1/4 cup

Sugar to taste

Procedure:

  1. Cut the pizza dough into two uneven pieces. The one to be used on the bottom will have to be large enough to come up the sides and hang over at least a 1/2-inch.

  2. Remove spinach from package and drain in a colander.

  3. Heat your sauté pan and add the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until it is tender and begins to brown slightly.

  4. Add the red pepper, bread crumbs and sun dried tomato. Cook until the bread crumbs begin to brown.

  5. Squeeze out as much water from the spinach and add it to the pan. Cook to heat through and remove any excess water. You may add olive oil if needed if it gets to dry.

  6. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. The filling can be made a day ahead.

  7. Add enough olive oil to the baking dish to cover the entire surface.

  8. Place the cooled filling into the prepared baking dish and cover with the top dough.

  9. By folding the bottom dough over the top, begin to roll the dough into the pie dish making a nice thick crust around the edge. This will allow the rest of the pie to cook at the same time as the crust.

  10. Remove from oven and serve at room temperature.

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