Kitchen InFerno: When Spinach Pie Goes Italian

Healthy eating and college don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand, but knowing the right tricks can help turn eating right into a daily routine. Let Kiersten Ferno be your guide for navigating the health-food scene without taking a chunk out of your schedule. Welcome to the inFerno.

photo 4When I was young, I used to often stay overnight at my Grandma’s house. The best part of the visits were always meal times, of course! If she wasn’t making her homemade gnocchi, my absolute favorite dish was spinach pie.

Delicious hot or cold, Italian spinach pie is a perfect meal or side dish for any college kid on a budget. With a short list of ingredients and fast cooking time, Italian spinach pie can be whipped up in no time. Plus, the spinach and eggs are full of protein and vitamins that’ll have your body fighting off germs this winter. With the added saltiness from the feta and a rich, flaky crust, I guarantee that this will become your new favorite comfort food.

What you’ll need:

20 oz. bag frozen spinach
½ Tablespoon butter
1 small onion
½ teaspoon minced garlic
1 ½ links spicy Italian sausage
¾ cup feta cheese
3 eggs
2 tubes of Pillsbury crescent rolls

What to do:

1. Defrost and drain spinach. Be sure to squeeze out as much extra water as you can with paper towels. (If the spinach isn’t dried out well, the bottom pie crust will be mushy – ew!)

2. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

3. Coat the base of your pie pan with butter so that the crush won’t stick.

4. In a medium pan, soften garlic and onion in a few Tablespoons olive oil on medium heat.

5. Slice and dispose of the sausage casing so the meat can be more easily broken up in your pan. Once the onions are golden brown, add meat and well-drained spinach, breaking up the meat with a metal spatula.

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6. Cook until spinach is warm and sausage is brown.

7. Let mixture cool for a few minutes on the stove so that the egg in the next step won’t immediately cook.

8. Add the mixture to large bowl, stirring in feta and 2 eggs.

9. Separate the last egg to add the yolk to the mixing bowl, and save the egg white for coating the top of the pie.

10. Using Pillsbury crescent rolls, thoroughly cover the base and sides of the pie pan.

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11. Fill with mixture and top with another layer of dough.

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12. Finally, use a spoon to drizzle the remaining egg white on the top layer of dough. This will make for a beautiful, golden brown crust.

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13. Bake for 15-20 minutes. (Every oven is different– ours cooked thoroughly in about 17 minutes! Be sure the dough is cooked all the way through.)

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Tip from Inside the InFerno: Making homemade, flaky crust is really easy, and wil kick this up a huge notch! So, don’t hesitate to make your own crust rather than using a store-bought piecrust or Pillsbury rolls.

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