This is an old time favorite, in which I have made a few times. It is also a one-dish-wonder, combining great Italian ingredients, harboring both meat and veggies for a great dinner. The dish can take a bit of time in the oven, and it seems like many ingredients, but it is an easy dish to make, and the result is nothing but marvelous.
On a side note, I would add a little more salt and even some crushed red pepper before the simmering. The original recipe, from Big Book of Quick & Easy Comfort Cooking by Better Homes & Gardens, said 8 servings, but it's better served as 6 servings.
- 1 pkg 10oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 1 each unbaked 9-inch pastry shell
- 1/2 lb lean ground beef
- 1/2 lb bulk mild Italian turkey sausage (or regular Italian sausage)
- 3/4 cup chopped red and/or yellow sweet pepper (1 large) (I omitted this)
- 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (Since I omitted this, I used 8oz sliced baby bella mushrooms)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning, crushed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup light ricotta cheese
- 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup chopped tomato
- Fresh oregano (optional)
- Drain thawed spinach well, pressing out excess liquid, set aside. Line pastry shell with a double thickness of foil. Bake in a 450 oven for 8 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes more, or until set and dry; remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 350.
- In a large skillet, cook beef, sausage, sweet pepper, mushrooms, and garlic until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender. Drain off fat, stir in water, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, and salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together spinach, ricotta cheese, and 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese. Spoon spinach mixture into baked pastry shell. Top with the meat mixture.
- To prevent overbrowning, cover the edge of pastry with foil. Bake in 350 oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil. Top pie with tomato and the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Bake for 2 minutes more or until tomato is heated through and cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Cut into wedges to serve. If desired, garnish with fresh oregano.