November 13, 2010

Italian Beef and Spinach Pie

Prep: 20 minutes, Bake: 30 minutes, Makes: 8 servings

12 oz. lean ground beef
3/4 C. chopped red or yellow sweet pepper
1/2 tsp. bottled minced garlic (1 clove)
1 C. water
1 6oz. can. Italian style tomato paste
1 4oz. can. drained, sliced mushrooms
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1 10oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
3/4 C. shredded mozzarella cheese (3oz)
2/3 C. light or regular ricotta cheese
1 baked 9-inch. pastry shell


   Preheat oven to 350F. In a large skillet cook beef, sweet pepper, and garlic until meat is brown and sweet pepper is tender. Stir in the water, tomato paste, drained mushrooms, and Italian seasoning. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
   Meanwhile, in a medium bowl stir together spinach, 1/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese, the ricotta cheese, and salt. Spoon spinach mixture into baked pastry shell. Top with the meat mixture. Cover edge of pastry with foil to prevent over browning.
   Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until heated through. Remove foil. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese. Let pie stand for 10 minutes before serving.

   *Note: For a baked pastry shell, bake one 9-inch. frozen unbaked deep-dish pastry shell according to package directions. Or prepare and bake 1 folded refrigerated unbaked pie-crust ( 1/2 of a 15 oz. package) according to package directions.

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