Recipe | "Italian Slab Pie" by Sue Ready

Cook's Notes: Another easy puff pastry meal filled with all your favorite Italian flavors-Italian Slab Pie. Just fill some puff pastry with a fennel and sausage mixture, add in some marinara, dollops of ricotta with basil and bake for 20 minutes. You get an elegant, yet homey pie that makes a lovely lunch or dinner. Just add a side salad and your meal is complete. So delicious! Use a serrated knife to cut the pie. Recipe makes 6 large pieces and was adapted from allthatsjas.com Cooking tip: You can use finely diced celery instead of fennel. Replace Italian sausage with spicy Kosher/Halal turkey sausage.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry (17.3 oz.), thawed
  • ½ pound spicy Italian sausage (bulk or casings removed)about 2 cups cooked
  • 3 cups packed fresh spinach leaves, chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup jarred marinara sauce
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning 
  • 2/3 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 1 egg
  • Optional sesame seeds
  • Flour for dusting
Directions:
  • In a large skillet, heat one teaspoon of oil medium-high heat. 
  • Add the sausage and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned. Transfer to a plate. Wipe pan clean from grease.
  • Reduce the heat to low and add the remaining oil, fennel, and garlic. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, about 3 minutes. Add in spinach and stir until wilted. Mix in the sausage, Italian seasoning and marinara sauce. 
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • In a small bowl mix dried basil with ricotta.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll each puff pastry sheet into a 10×12-inch rectangle. Transfer one sheet to a parchment-lined or silicone baking sheet. Top with sausage mixture, leaving a 1-inch border. With a tablespoon, add dollops of ricotta over meat mixture. 
  • Grate 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese over the puff pastry mixture. 
  • Mix the egg with 1 tsp. of water. Brush the border of the pastry with the egg wash and line up with the remaining sheet of puff pastry, pressing the edges to seal.




  • Brush the top and sides of puff pastry with egg mixture and use a fork to crimp the edges. Cut 4 slits in the top to allow steam to escape. 
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake until the pastry is puffed and golden, about 18 minutes. 




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