Quick Tasty Mini Spinach Pies

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mini spinach pies

This is one of those recipes that works great when you have a sheet of dough ready in your freezer. Like I did!

One sheet of puff pastry (preferably made with butter, and not hydrogenated oils — actually, Publix just came out with an all-butter puff pastry). It takes maybe 20 minutes at the most to thaw. In that meantime, you can put together the filling and preheat the oven, so when you roll out the dough and fill and shape your spinach pies, it’ll be just 20 minutes later when you’re eating.

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mini spinach pies about to bake

Wow. Quick. Easy. Tastes great. And you know exactly what’s in the food you’re eating (as opposed to a fast PU at a quickie restaurant). Make your own snacks!

(I added some minced sorrel to my mixture, because my friend, Danusia, once made spinach pies with sorrel. That subtle addition of taste was so good! She gave me a plant this season and it’s been thriving. So, lucky me, I’ve got sorrel! But you don’t need it. Works fine without, too.) *FYI: that’s my sister in the video. My sous chef.

Enjoy!

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mini spinach pies

Mini Spinach Pies

1-2 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, diced

6-9 ounces of spinach (I get triple washed)

4 ounces crumbled feta or goat cheese

salt & pepper to taste

1 egg, beaten for egg wash (add a little splash of water)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Sauté diced onion in the butter. When softened (about 2-3 minutes), add spinach and let it wilt — add a little salt. Drain. Remove to a mixing bowl and crumble in cheese. (Add a couple of sorrel leaves, minced, if you have it — or another herb you may love — mint? basil? or nothing else…) Season mixture with some more salt and some pepper.

Roll out your sheet of puff pastry…to about half as much thinner. Cut into 3-inch squares. Spoon some filling into each square, fold square in half in a triangle shape. Press edges to seal with your fingers, use a fork to press edges a bit more to seal. Place on a parchment or silpat-lined sheet pan. Brush with some egg wash. Poke one little hole in the top each for steam release while baking. Bake for about 20 minutes until golden. Eat.

 

 

Recipe for Shrimp & Spinach Cannelloni

 

Cannelloni ingredients

Cannelloni ingredients

Here’s the recipe for the Shrimp Cannelloni. It’s a bit more involved than I usually get, but it’s worth the journey. Make it on a day when you can relax and have fun with it (or involve friends, family, or kids!).  Let me know if you have any questions about the recipe or process.

Buon Appetito!

Shrimp & Spinach-Stuffed Cannelloni 

For the Tomato Sauce:

1 28-oz can plum tomatoes

1 small onion, sliced

2 garlic cloves, peeled

drizzle of olive oil

2-3 sprigs of parsley

salt & pepper to taste

¼ cup cream

For the Pasta:

2 cups flour

¼ teaspoon salt

3 eggs, lightly beaten

For the filling:

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

1 lb. shrimp, shelled, deveined, each shrimp cut into 3 or 4 pieces

3 tablespoons brandy

1 small onion, minced

2 celery stalks, minced

9 ounces spinach, cooked and minced (or thawed frozen spinach), well-drained

2 cups besciamella sauce (see below)

1 cup mozzarella, shredded

¼ cup parmigiano

For the Besciamella sauce:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk

pinch nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Make the tomato sauce:

Drain and the canned tomatoes, reserving the liquid. Drizzle olive oil on a baking sheet. Add plum tomatoes from can, onion, garlic, parsley, and season with salt and pepper. Spread mixture out. Bake in a hot oven until simmering and caramelized—about 20-30 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor and pulse sauce until blended. Stir in the reserved tomato liquid. Stir in the cream. Adjust for seasoning.

Make the pasta:

Whisk the flour and salt in a large bowl. Create a “well” in the middle of the flour and add the eggs. Using a fork slowly mix the flour into the egg, until the dough comes together. Press dough together to make a rough ball. Gather the dough and knead on a lightly floured surface. If it’s too sticky add a little flour. Knead for about 5 minutes until smooth. Shape into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest at room temp for 30 minutes.

Cut the dough into four pieces. Work with one piece at a time and keep the other pieces covered in plastic wrap. Flatten the dough into a rough rectangle, and roll through the pasta machine, changing the numbers from thick to thinner one at a time until you reach the setting before the last. Lay the sheet on a table and cut it into rough squares approximately 4 inches wide. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Heat water in a pasta pot until boiling. Add salt. Boil pasta sheets until al dente then remove and rinse under cool water.

Make: the Besciamella sauce:

Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the flour and whisk until flour is cooked, about 2 minutes. Add the milk and whisk. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Simmer over medium heat, whisking, until thickened. Allow to cool.

Make the Shrimp filling:

Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet. When hot, toss in the shrimp. Season with salt. Cook a minute or two until hot, then add the brandy and let evaporate. Take shrimp out with slotted spoon and reserve. Add the onion and celery. Cook until softened. Take mixture off the heat to cool. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the the onion and celery, spinach, shrimp, mozzarella, besciamella sauce, parsley, . Season with salt & pepper.

Make the Cannelloni:

Lay some paper towels on a work surface and lay out the pasta sheets on top. Add 2-3 tablespoons of the shrimp filling on one of the short edges of a pasta sheet. Roll up to form the cannelloni. Repeat with the rest of the pasta and filling.

In a casserole dish spoon some of the tomato sauce, Line up the cannelloni in the dish seam side down. Spoon tomato sauce over the top. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake for 40 minutes until golden. Serve warm.

NOTE: In picture below we had some extra besciamella sauce left so we drizzled it on top of the cannelloni before baking.

 

time to eat the cannelloni!

time to eat the cannelloni!

 

 

Fresh Pasta Cannelloni Stuffed w Spinach & Shrimp

cannelloni stuffed with shrimp & spinach

cannelloni stuffed with shrimp & spinach

Wednesday night’s class was a knockout!

Here are some pix…this is a delicious dish. Let me know if you’d like the recipe!

Cannelloni ingredients

Cannelloni ingredients

great cooks in my kitchen rolling up the cannelloni

great cooks in my kitchen rolling up the cannelloni

cannelloni almost ready to bake!

cannelloni almost ready to bake!

time to eat the cannelloni!

time to eat the cannelloni!