Italian Sausage Pie

I went on a mission the other day trying to find something different to make. I felt like I was about to enter a funk because nothing was sounding appealing to make. I poked through my saved recipe links and bounced around through various online recipe sources but nothing was jumping out at me. I hoped to find inspiration somewhere. I knew it would come eventually. I kept my fingers crossed that inspiration would come sooner than later.

Finally I grabbed my binder full of recipes. Some I’ve written, others printed from various places online and torn out from many magazines. The magazine recipes are what is leftover from a massive magazine clean out day. If something seemed at all interesting to try at some later date, I saved it… otherwise it got tossed in the recycle bin. I love flipping through magazines but they take up a lot of space. Thankfully many I’ve saved have been big hits, either personally or for others. This particular time it was a sausage pie recipe that caught my eye. I’ve talked before about how occasionally I’ll make something special for my husband to bring to work for lunches. The page was just jumping out at me saying ‘make me for lunch’…well… okay.

It was a hit! It smelled good and was really easy to make. Okay, the bread part kind of annoyed me but only to start, then it got better. I hate hate hate sticky dough but I was just following directions… which is what brought me to the sticky dough situation. Anyway, the flavors work so well together – or so I’m told since it wasn’t made for me! Veggies, cheese, spices and meat. In each bite you got a nice array of wonderful flavors and then randomly you’d get a bite of sausage. A ‘nice surprise’. The only downfall I’m told is the lack of meat. I decided to stick pretty close to the original recipe so I didn’t change the amount of meat but even while cooking it I couldn’t help but be tempted to add in another link of sausage. That one extra link may have made all the difference. Overall though it got a big thumbs up and I’m sure I’ll be asked to make this again.

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1: 9-10 inch pie

Italian Sausage Pie

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs Italian sausage (I used extra hot)
1 C red pepper, chopped
1/2 C onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 - 1/2 tsp oregano
1 - 16oz pkg hot roll mix (see image below)
5 eggs
3 C shredded mozzarella
1 C ricotta cheese
5oz  fresh spinach, coursely chopped
8oz canned sliced mushrooms, drained
1 egg
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese

Directions:

If using link sausage, remove sausage from casings and crumble. Use anywhere from 1 1/2lbs (as directed) up to 2lbs. Prepare veggies and garlic. Add sausage to a large warm skillet. When meat is partially heated through, add red pepper, onion, garlic and seasonings to skillet. Toss and stir. Cook until meat is browned and veggies are tender. Drain of fat and transfer to a small bowl.

A note on the hot roll mix. I checked the baking aisle of my local grocery store and didn't see it. I'm not one for using boxed mixes much these days so I checked where I thought I'd find it. That's the location that made sense anyway. Well... I didn't find it so towards the end of my grocery trip I decided to get a package of grands biscuits figuring that should work in a pinch - do the same if you can't find this little box. BUT... I decided to go back to the baking aisle for one more look and eventually found it next to the muffin and cookie mixes. Not at all what I was expecting but I did find it. Pretty basic stuff - it includes all you need to make the dough except for some extra flour.

Prepare hot roll mix according to package directions... just be warned it will be sticky when you transfer it. The dough needs more flour than the package states but it will work. Patience and lots of flour. It will come together. Knead until smooth, then transfer to a greased bowl and cover. Let sit for 5-10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat 5 eggs. Add in 1 cup of mozzarella, ricotta and spinach. Stir. Add sausage mixture and mushrooms to bowl. Toss and stir well.

Flour your work area, then roll 3/4 of the dough into a large circle. It doesn't have to be perfect but big enough to fit the bottom of a springform pan and it's sides. Transfer dough to a greased (spray with any baking spray or use your prefered method of greasing) springform pan - pressing gently into the bottom and up the sides. Hang any extra dough over the sides for now.

Sprinkle 1/2 C mozzarella onto bottom crust. Pour sausage mixture into pan. Spread out remainder of mozzarella over sausage mix.

Roll remaining dough into a small-ish circle, just big enough to top off the 'pie' filling. Place ontop of cheese. Fold over side dough and pinch with top dough to seal.

In a small bowl, beat 1 egg with water and grated Parmesan. Brush egg mixture over all exposed dough. Let sit for 5 minutes, then sprinkle with extra Parmesan.
Transfer springform pan to a large baking sheet. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Let cool slightly (5-10 minutes) before removing springform pan side.

Cool an additional 5-10 minutes before slicing into. A bit of warning, juices will escape so please do not cut over anything you don't want to get dirty... a counter or rimmed baking sheet would be best.

Recipe source: Better Homes and Gardens


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