Many Friday nights my Dad would meet up with his brothers and eat at my Nonna's house with his brothers and just visit. Like most Italian Mama's this was a highlight in her week to have her sons just to herself and feeding them food she knew they all enjoyed. Her menu always changed, but the bottles of homemade vino were the first thing put on the table with a half dozen jelly glasses. Not much was fancy in my grandmothers kitchen, but the food always plentiful, comforting and just perfect. Sometimes Nonna would make them spinach pies, calzones or stromboli and some extra for him to bring home to us. And were times Mom and I never got any because Dad had finished them off while driving home. Yes, they were that good and Dad simply loved them.
This weekend marks the passing of my Dad, so in his memory I decided to make a tray of spinach pie that I knew he enjoyed so much. Typically I make individual pies, just like my Nonna's but this time I made one sheet of them to cut into squares to serve. Making them this way saves me a bit of time and though I really enjoy the individual pockets of spinach pies this is a close second in my book. Squared or pocket I know Dad would enjoy coming home to this dish. We miss you Dad, xox.
fresh pizza dough
2 lbs fresh spring spinach, washed
10 mushrooms, chopped
3 garlic cloves, mashed
1/2 bunch scallions chopped
2 TBLS pine nuts
fresh oregano, basil & thyme to taste
grated pecorino cheese
1 can black olives, each cut in half
extra virgin olive oil
splash of white wine
sea salt & ground pepper
Sautee in olive oil the garlic, scallions,pine nuts, herbs and mushrooms for just a few minutes. Toss in washed fresh spinach leaves and a few oz of white wine. Cover & cook for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and add the olives, salt, & ground pepper. Give it another couple of stirs and allow to cool uncovered. Transfer the spinach mixture to a colander and allow to drain excess liquid.
Roll out pizza dough adding just enough flour so that it won't stick to rolling pin. Divide the dough in half and press evenly into baking dish with one section of dough to fill the dish and up half the side of dish. Add spinach filling and spread evenly over the dough. Top with second sheet of dough wrapping edges under to seal crust. Brush top with a bit of olive oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden. Remove from oven--allow to cool and slice. Enjoy!