This recipe is from our Homewood CSA member Julia Galeazzi! It was a hit at her recent dinner party.
From the September/October 2009 issue of "Tastes of Italia":
As soon as there is a cool breeze in the air, you will love this "green" pie. Of course, you may use spinach, but try this with cooked Swiss chard. Serve it hot, although it is delicious at room temperature also. This is a conversation piece. your family and friends will want to know what's inside the pie.
1/2 pound Italian sausage
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onions
2 cups cooked Swiss chard, drained well*
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup ricotta
4 eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 prepared pastry crusts, such as Pillsbury
1 egg white, beaten
Remove sausage from casing and crumble it in a large saucepan with the olive oil. Brown it 8 to 10 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
There should be about 2 to 3 tablespoons fat in the pan; if there is more remove and discard or reserve for another use. Saute onions 5 minutes until they turn color.
Remove pan from the heat, and add the cooked Swiss chard. Mix it with the onions. Then, add the Parmesan and ricotta cheeses, 4 beaten eggs and the sausage meat, and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Fit one pastry into the bottom of a 10-inch pie dish. Brush the inside of the pastry, including the sides, with the beaten egg white, reserving a bit for the top pastry, and fill the pie. Cover with the second pie crust, merging the 2 crusts into a decorative pattern, and brush the remaining egg white over the top. With a sharp knife, make 4 or 5 small slits in the top pastry. Bake for about 40 minutes until a rich golden color is achieved. Remove from oven, rest a few minutes and slice.
Makes 8 servings.
*To cook Swiss chard: discard overgrown leaves, remove white stems and peel them (as if destringing celery stalks) and cut into 1-inch lengths. Chop leaves into 1-inch square pieces and cook in salted boiling water with stems. Drain very well and finish them off in 2 tablespoons olive oil with 2 garlic cloves. Remove cloves and cool and then add to the other ingredients in the filling.
Julia's notes: I omitted the salt, and it came out fine. The part that takes the longest is washing and cooking the swiss chard. If you don't have all day or the patience to prep, I suggest you buy pre-washed spinach and skip the cooking in boiling water. You can just go to the "finish in olive oil and garlic" step, which I did in a saute pan. (Spinach leaves wilt quickly in a saute, unlike swiss chard, which requires the boiling first.) Also, when the recipe says to "rest a few minutes", I'm pretty sure that means to rest the pie, but it is also a good time to take a rest yourself before digging in! Enjoy :)