Italian Pot Pies

I love this recipe because it is very economical, freezes well, and you have tasty biscuits left over for breakfast sandwiches.  I adapted the recipe from Everyday Food Magazine to be a traditional meal.

Savory Biscuits

3-1/2 c. total of flour – I used 1 c. white and 2-1/2 c. spelt (whole wheat works just as good)

1-1/2 c. whole milk or buttermilk

4 tbsp. melted butter

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking soda

1 c. grated real parmesan cheese

1 tsp. diced fresh rosemary (use Italian seasoning if you don’t have)

(adapted for Italian foodies from Nourishing Traditions, p. 454)

The night before serving this dinner add 1 1/2 c. of whole milk or buttermilk to 2-1/2 c. of whole wheat or spelt flour and 1 c. of white flour.  Leave in a warm place (in oven with pilot light on) for 24 hours.   If you are too lazy for this step (which is pretty easy and really good for you) then you might as well use the link above for the original recipe.

Now that the dough is soaked for maximum digestion, add in the remaining ingredients with a wooden spoon.  Turn out on clean work surface and knead to combine.  Coat rolling pin with unbleached white flour and roll to 3/4 in. thickness.  Cut with glass or cutter into rounds until dough is gone.  (I cut with the ramekins so they were exactly the same size and it worked perfect.)  Now make filling.

Filling

1 tbsp. olive oil or butter

1 med. onion, chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

2 c. other greens like spinach or chard, optional

1 lb. ground beef

2 c. tomato sauce (if you’re buying one, try Rao’s – yum!)

*special equipment – this dish looks really pretty in ramekins, but if you don’t have any and don’t want to buy some, use a square Pyrex.

Heat oil in pan over medium.  Add onion and carrot and optional greens, then season with salt and pepper.  Cook about 5-7 minutes, or until softened.  Add meat and cook until no longer pink.  Heat oven to 450.  Add tomato sauce, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

Divide filling among 4 ramekins, top with cut biscuit.  Bake in oven at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, or until biscuit is lightly browned.

Cooled leftovers can be wrapped in foil and reheated in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

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