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This is a more of a pie. A proud, hearty meal of a pie, with a golden pastry crust and a satisfyingly delicious filling. You can use this crust and fill the pie with other mixtures as well. The crust is surprisingly sturdy, especially considering how good it tatses, and the whole thing pops right out when you use a springform pan (highly recommended for presentation value). This is an adaptation of a recipe by the Domestic Goddess herself, Nigella Lawson.
for the pastry
- 1 2⁄3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 in cubes
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons ice water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
for the filling
- 2 medium onions, pureed in a food processor
- 1 lb mild Italian turkey sausage or 1 lb andouille sausage
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 ounces shredded Italian cheese
- 1 -1 1⁄2 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 egg whites
- 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal or 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
- Place flour and butter in a dish and place in the freezer.
- Stir together the egg yolk, salt, and water and place this in the refrigerator.
- After 10 minutes have passed, process the flour and butter just until it looks like cornmeal or coarse sand. Add the egg mixture to bind, and process until it just starts to come together.
- Dump the dough onto a clean work surface and push together with your hands. Divide dough into 2 parts, one slightly larger than the other, and form these into discs. Wrap in plastic and let rest in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Wipe out the processor bowl a bit and process the onions.
- Pour into a large skillet or dutch oven with the olive oil. Saute over medium-high heat for about 8 minutes.
- Add sausage and use the spatula to mix into the onions. Continue to cook until sausage is slightly browned.
- Remove from heat and add spinach and ricotta cheese.
- Add most of the shredded cheese (save about 1/3 of it) and egg whites. Stir together very well (to incorporate the whites evenly).
- Continue with the pastry. Placing each disc between two sheets of plastic wrap, roll one out to be about the size of your springform pan. Roll the other out to be larger than the pan by about 2 ½ inches. (It will form the bottom and sides of your pie.)
- Take the top sheet off of the larger one and turn it onto the pan. Try to center it. Remove plastic and gently ease/press it into the pan.
- Into this sprinkle the cornmeal or breadcrumbs and then the remaining cheese.
- Spoon the filling into the crust. Do not overfill -- you may have extra filling. Place the top crust over this, and press the edges together with the bottom crust. Poke a few steam holes in the top, and bake about 40 minutes, or until the pie is golden.
- Let rest about 10 minutes before serving. Also great cold or warmed up the next day.