Lucinda's Spinach and Ham Pie
Every Easter, Martha Stewart Living TV food editor Lucinda Scala Quinn prepares a savory Italian pie filled with spinach and ham. To ensure a thin, flaky crust, Linda notes that it is essential to wring out the cooked spinach in cheesecloth before adding it to the rest of the filling.
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 3 ten-ounce bags spinach, stemmed and well washed, but not dried
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 large eggs
- 1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 8 ounces boiled ham, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (optional)
Make the pastry: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the butter and cream cheese. Process until combined. Add cream, and pulse to combine. Add the flour and salt, and pulse just until a ball forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead a few times. Divide dough in half, pat each half into a disc, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make the filling: Place the spinach in a very large pot over medium-high heat. Cover, and cook, stirring once or twice, until spinach wilts, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from pot, and set aside to cool. Squeeze dry, wringing out the cooked spinach in cheesecloth (there should be 2 cups), and coarsely chop.
Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add oil and onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent but not brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat to cool briefly.
In a large bowl, lightly beat 2 eggs. Add ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper; mix to combine. Stir in the spinach and onions. Add ham; stir to combine.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disc of dough to a 13-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch glass pie plate, allowing the excess dough to hang over the edge of the plate. Trim edges to 1/2 inch. Spread spinach mixture evenly into pie plate. On a lightly floured surface, roll out second disc of dough to a 13-inch circle. Transfer to top of the pie. Trim top crust to overlap the bottom by 1/4 inch. Fold top crust over bottom, and crimp edges together with your fingers. Cut a few small vents. Beat the remaining egg with a few drops of water, and brush over surface of pie. Bake until crust is golden brown, about 1 hour. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.