I learned how to make all of the so called “difficult things” from books – polenta, risotto, pie crusts. No one told me told me they were supposed to be hard to do and obviously I got good instructions. Perhaps the key to all of these is patience. Waiting for the polenta to pull away from the side of the pan when you have been continuously stirring it for 20-30 minutes; the same is true of risotto. With pie crust, if making without a food processor, you need the flour and butter to be evenly distributed and have a consistency of coarse cornmeal. I used to be so proud of my inadvertent accomplishments. But now, I cheat with the best of them, particularly since I discovered Hot Water Pastry. It is just too easy!
Bring water to a boil, add butter, salt and flour and stir well and refrigerate for 45 minutes. Then roll it out. That simple, that fool-proof!
For a change of pace I made it with whole wheat flour this time around, making a denser dough that easily stood up to the hearty kale and sausage filling. Next time I will probably add some bacon or prosciutto just to spice it up a bit.
If you check out Fat of the Land’s original recipe, he called for 4 sausages (1 lb) while I cut it back. He used nettles in his pie so you could easily substitute swiss chard, spinach or even escarole would probably work well. Do not be afraid of the salt shaker for this one; this is a lot of greens and they definitely need salt!
Italian Sausage and Kale Pie from Fat of the Land
4 cups Kale, cut in ribbons (I used Tuscan/Black/Dinosaur, however you call it)
1 small onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 sweet Italian sausages
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
Prepared pie crust for 9″ pan, with cover (I used Hot Water Pastry Crust)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In large saute pan or dutch oven, squeeze sausage out of casing in teaspoon amounts and add olive oil and brown. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened. Add kale and stir to cook. Add 1 tablespoon of water if kale was not recently washed. Cook until kale wilts and softens. Allow mixture to cool. Prepare pie dough and roll out bottom piece and place in pie plate and or pan. Trim edges to allow 1/2 inch of overlap. Beat eggs and add to sausage kale mixture and stir in mozzarella, salt and pepper. Taste for seasoning. Spoon into pie crust and add pie crust cover. Crimp or pinch edges together to seal pie. Stab 6-8 cuts in pie crust top to allow steam to escape. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 degrees and then reduce heat to 375 for 25-30 minutes longer. Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 10 minutes (inside will be very very hot!) Serve.
Recipes currently inspiring me:
Wasabi and Crystallized Ginger Dark Chocolate Brownies from Eats Well With Others
The Best Baked Spinach at Smitten Kitchen
Baked White Bean Dip with Rosemary and Parmesan at Pinch My Salt