This recipe comes from Alicia Lini via Food and Wine. She writes, “Flavorful and filling with a light, almost cracker-like crust, this rustic spinach pie relies on simple ingredients for an impressive finish. Because the spinach gently steams within the crust, it retains its fresh, verdant flavor even after cooking.”
So how is this different from spanakopita you might ask? Well, mostly because the dough is a short-crust variety, and not phyllo. Plus, well, it’s Italian! Originally from Emilia-Romagna.
What I liked, besides the great flavor, is that it really held together well, so the slices were almost like spinach hand pies.
Emilian Spinach and Cheese Pie
2 cups Italian-style 00 flour (about 8 ounces), plus more for kneading
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 large garlic cloves, smashed
4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Stir together flour and salt in a medium bowl. Pour in 1/2 cup water and oil; stir together using a fork until shaggy pieces of dough form. Turn out dough and any remaining flour in bowl onto a clean work surface, and press into a shaggy ball. Knead until mostly smooth and elastic, 5 to 8 minutes. Dough should be slightly tacky; lightly dust with flour as needed if sticking to hands. Wrap in plastic wrap; let rest at room temperature at least 1 hour or up to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 450°F with rack about 6 inches from heat source. Place spinach on a clean kitchen towel, and firmly squeeze over sink to remove as much liquid as possible; transfer spinach to a large bowl.
Cook oil and garlic in a large skillet over medium-low, swirling skillet occasionally, until garlic is sizzling and light golden on 1 side, about 6 minutes. Because I don’t like browned garlic, I used a good, garlic-infused olive oil, and continued with the recipe.
Add spinach; cook, pulling apart spinach with tongs, until coated in oil mixture and warmed through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Return spinach mixture to large bowl. Remove and discard garlic. Stir Parmigiano-Reggiano, ricotta, eggs, and salt into spinach mixture until thoroughly combined; set aside.
Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Unwrap dough, and divide evenly into 2 portions. Roll 1 portion out on a floured work surface into a 14- x 10-inch rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Trim and discard excess dough. Gently roll dough rectangle around rolling pin, and unroll onto prepared baking sheet. Spoon spinach filling onto rectangle and spread in an even layer, leaving a 1-inch border. Roll remaining dough portion out into a 13- x 9-inch rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Trim and discard excess dough. Gently roll dough around rolling pin, and unroll to drape over spinach filling. Using your fingers, lightly moisten edges of dough with water. Fold edges of bottom dough over top edges, and press to seal. Prick top of dough all over using a fork. Drizzle evenly with olive oil.
Bake in preheated oven until crust is light golden, about 30 minutes. Increase oven temperature to broil; do not remove pie from oven. Broil, watching carefully, until charred in spots, 1 to 2 minutes. (I thought mine was browned enough after 30 minutes.)
Let cool 15 minutes. Cut pie lengthwise into 4 even strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 6 pieces.
This is so good as an appetizer, served warm.
I also served it as a light lunch, with a simple tomato salad on the side.
Gorgeous, Mimi, and interesting to read about an Italian version. Looks great.
It was very good. A unique crust.
You prepared this excellent recipe beautifully. This filling is almost a duplicate of the one I use for my lasagna.
Oh yum. That must be great lasagna!
Such a beautiful and delicious dish! I love that golden crunchy crust.
The crust is really really good!
How fun! It sounds perfectly savory and delicious, and I’ll bet it reheats much better than spanakopita; the phyllo always goes limp and soggy. I had to chuckle because the assembly photos gave me the impression of a gigantic spinach pop tart! :)
Well, I guess it kinda is a big pop tart! Savory, though… And actually good!
It sounds amazingly delicious!
It really is!
This looks and sounds really tasty! I can see this happily serving as the star of a buffet table.
I like the olive oils from the California company, but I haven’t seen the garlic infused one around here. I’m a fan of their Arbequina variety from California.
They grow those in California? I first had them in Spain! Interesting. I need to check the other options out. Thanks!
Yes, it’s really tasty!
This is a new one on me, but it looks great!
Me, too! And it’s wonderful!
My cousin, who lives half the year in Bologna, makes this for us whenever we visit her in San Francisco. It’s a wonderful dish, and yours looks beautiful!
Oh thanks! I can’t believe I’ve never heard of it! Of course, you can’t know everything!
This definitely has my name on it! I can’t wait to make this delicious dish. I’ll make one for me, and one for everyone else! :-)
Ha! That’s smart thinking!
I adore a rustic spinach pie, and your pastry looks amazing.
This was very different, and very very good!
that looks so delicious mimi. I could definitely have some for dinner. Hubby is currently grilling some sausages so I’ll have to make do :=)
It would be great with sausages!!!!
This looks so tasty. Definitely my kind of dish!
I like the simple crust, which is less fussy than filo.
And it didn’t get soggy at all, surprisingly. Very cracker-like!
I love this! The simple rustic type crust and the filling sounds totally luscious. Perfect as a side dish, a main course or an appetizer! Thanks Mimi!
One could really eat this any time of the day. A great snack. Good with soup!
Love everything about this delicious recipe except for the fact we are not there helping you eat it! This is the kind of dish that you could eat anytime of the day or even as an appetizer. Must give this one a go soon.
It would be a great appetizer. A hearty one, but great and fulfilling.
We are big fans of spinach recipes around here—even my picky daughter has decided it’s a vegetable worth eating. I can’t wait to give this Italian dish a try!!
Interesting! I’m happy for her – I wouldn’t personally think it’s one to be embraced at a young age!
Ah yes, erbazzone! Haven’t made it for quite some time but it’s wonderful! Simple but delicious like so much Italian cookery.
If you’re just discovering it now, I guess my 2018 post pre-dated our virtual acquaintance?
Huh. I don’t think so. I was maybe on vacation? I’ll check it out of course!
this sounds wonderful Mimi! i’d never heard of it! Must try!
I hope you do. It’s fabulous!
This looks so good, and would be perfect for work lunches :)
It really would.
I love the way the dough looks. I would make it right away but my husband will not eat spinach,
It’s always something with these guys, isn’t it?!!!
I adore spinach and this looks like a delicious way to enjoy it! What a fun recipe for entertaining!
The filling isn’t exceptional, but the crust definitely is!
I love it! I’ll bet you could fill that crust will all sorts of things.
Definitely! The crust is really good.
I love spanakopita (who doesn’t though?!), so I’m intrigued with this short-crust type of dough. Looks and sounds terrific!
Yes, it is intriguing and it’s fabulous! Hope you get a chance to try it.
Wow – an Italian version of spanakopita!? You’ve got my attention now, Mimi! I’ve never heard of this before, but it sounds (and looks) fantastic. (Oh, and on a side note, I ordered Laura a copy of that Asian sauces cookbook you mentioned in the last post…thanks for that!)
Oh, that’s a great book! You’ll love it! Yes, this is very good – a unique crust that I’m surprised I liked so much!
I love a recipe that gets me to eat more spinach! I see that you used double zero flour. The crust looks golden, crispy and delicious
Yes, it turned out almost like a cracker. Not sure I would like that, but it worked really well!
This looks like something I would really enjoy and I always have frozen spinach in the kitchen. Love that garlic-infused oil, too, but I haven’t seen it in my stores in a while.
I have to order my oils online! Amazon always steps up for me.
Thank you for sharing this delicious-sounding recipe for Erbazzone Reggiano! I love how the short-crust dough and simple ingredients make for a unique twist on spinach pie. The detailed instructions and pictures also make it seem achievable for someone like me who isn’t the most confident in the kitchen. I can’t wait to try it out and maybe even serve it as an appetizer or light lunch like you did. Thanks again for sharing!
You are so welcome! Don’t cut yourself short! Most people don’t even know how to do the simplest of things in the kitchen!