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Friday, March 21, 2014

(Rhode Island) Stuffed Spinach Pies & Trivia

If you were to google "spinach pie", google would pull up about a billion pictures oSpanakopita.  Now, if you were to add 2 little letters in front of that, like: R & I (as in Rhode Island), as in "RI Spinach Pie"....well now we're on the same page!!  I know what your thinking....Um, Kim?  It looks like a spinach calzone!  Please, oh please (let me take a deep breath).  Please, do not call it a calzone.....it is a "Spinach Pie".

Rhode Island Stuffed Spinach Pies - www.soliloquyoffood.com

Rhode Islanders can be a bit quirky about these type of things....it is a historical fact! Rhode Island was THE first of the original 13 colonies to declare itself independent from British rule.  Rhode Island demonstrated the first armed act of rebellion in America against the Brits by boarding and burning their "Gaspee" Schooner ship in Narragansett Bay, back in 1772.  

The Burning Of The Gaspee - photo source:  Gaspee(dot)org
(Photo Source:  Gaspee.org)

They BURNED DOWN THE SHIP......they didn't throw tea into the harbor.....they seized and burned down the entire ship...and it is still hailed in celebration 242 years later!  So please, ick-snay on the alzon-cay, okay?

What?  More quirky, useless RI trivia?  O-kay!!
Military General and Former Governor of RI,  Ambrose Burnside, established the sideburn as "a thang" back in the day. He did many other great things for our country through his military career, and while in office....but come on!  Look at those mutton chops!!


General Burnside's sideburns, a facial hair pioneer - photo source: www.wiki(dot)com
(photo source: wiki.com)

FACT:  The former Mayor of Providence has a lucrative line of jarred sauces...and a criminal record.

Now that I've feed yo' mind, lets feed yo face!  There are two ways to make the spinach filling:  frozen spinach or canned spinach (I've also actually tried fresh spinach - you need a TON of fresh spinach - after the time spent steaming or sauteing it down....it's just not worth it in my opinion).  I know you're thinking canned spinach?  Yuck!!  This is actually what many of the famous pizza places in RI use in their spinach pies.  If you drain it really well, and squeeze as much liquid from it as humanly possible, it will work.  Once the spinach filling is seasoned, folded into dough, stuffed with, peperoni and cheese, they pretty much taste the same:  the only big difference is the texture, or consistency, of the spinach.  The canned is way more tender; it melts into the crust and cheese...it's actually my favorite way to make these.  If you've ever been to Caserta Pizza in Providence and ordered a Wimpy Skimpy (spinach pie stuffed with cheese and pepperoni) - it's canned spinach (you can actually see the large foodservice-sized cans stacked in the back of the kitchen...plus, I asked the lady behind the counter).  

RI Spinach Pies Fresh From The Oven, Waiting To Be Stuffed With Cheese Pepperoni & Sauce - www.soliloquyoffood.com

The Wimpy Skimpy is the inspiration behind this post.  I added some marinara sauce to my pies...I like to do that sometimes.  Weather you're a purist and prefer regular spinach pies, straight up - no cheese, no meat....or, you're a bit radical and stuff them with as much cheese and peperoni as they'll hold - I think we can all agree ======>They are NOT calzones!

makes 6 Stuffed Spinach Pies

2 pounds pizza dough
2 1/2 cups of well drained spinach (thawed frozen, or canned)
1/2 cup sliced black olives
2 Tbs Olive Oil
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp Lawreys Seasoned Salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper, or more to taste
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1/2 c flour for dusting and rolling the dough
1 1/2 Tbs vegetable oil (not olive or it will smoke) to grease pan and brush dough
1 cup sliced pepperoni
2 cups shredded pizza cheese
2 cups pizza sauce

Position rack to the center of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.  Thouroughly grease a large sheet pan with vegetable oil.  In a medium sized bowl toss the drained spinach with olive oil and seasoning - fold in the sliced olives; set aside.

Divide the dough into 6 equal portions.  Flour your rolling surface and rolling pin; press or roll each portion into a round-ish 1/4" thick circle (depending on the temperment of your dough, humidity, temperature, rotaion of the earth, etc, the dough rounds will be anywhere from a 6-8" across).

Spread 1/2 cup of spinach on half of each dough round, fold over, and press edges to seal.  Carefully transfer to greased sheet pan.  With a serated knife, score a slice in the center to allow steam to escape while baking.  For a crispy top crust, lightly brush with a little vegetable oil.  

Bake for 20 minutes in the until golden brown.  Remove from pan to a cooling rack for 15 minutes, reduce oven temperate to 375 degrees.  Split open spinach pies; layer pepperoni, cheese and sauce on the spinach side, fold top back over.  Bake another 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and gooey.  

not.a.calzone.

If you liked this post, you might like:
Make this pizza, you will!!  Star Wars Pizzas #MayTheFourth - www.soliloquyoffood.com

RI Pizza Dough From Scratch!!  www.soliloquyoffood.com

5 Minute Marinara - Wicked Good- Wicked Quick - www.soliloquyoffood.com

Please visit my LINK PARTY page to see where I have shared this post.  

32 comments:

  1. It looks lovely. Most people may think it looks like a calzone, but my husband (who's colour-blind) just said, 'That looks nice. Is it a burger?' Not sure if you'd rather that or not!

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    1. Too funny!! I'll take the burger!! Thanks for stopping by :)

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  2. Great post Kim. I was laughing as I read this and your cal...;) I mean spinach pies sound divine. I've never been to RI and have never had a spinach pie but it looks like a fantastic way to eat your spinach. Pinned.

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  3. Noted ... not a calzone :) lol. Pinned and will share on FB!! Those sideburns are wild - haha!

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  4. Instead of sausae I used caramelized roaated tomatoes.. very yummy.. thx Kim <3

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    1. How about a nice sausage? No? Your toms are dah-vine...you may have to guest post for me!!

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  5. These pies looks so yummy! I want one! I am pinning!!!
    :) Have a happy week!!
    “hugs” Crystelle
    Crystelle Boutique

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  6. These look like something you'd get at a fancy pizza place--YUM!!

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  7. Sounds wonderful! I will try your Not a Calzone stuffed spinach pies! Pinned!

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  8. Kim - these are super tempting!!
    I just love the combination of flavors that you used
    (for me without the pepperoni though)

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  9. Yum this looks delicious. Definitely a lunch that my whole family would enjoy. Pinned.

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  10. Loved the trivia and this post. I would love to try a Spinach Pie. Thanks for sharing at Treasure Box Tuesday, Pinned!
    Wanda Ann @ Memories by the Mile

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    1. Wanda Ann, coming from you - that is the upmost compliment! You are the trivia MASTER!!

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  11. I grew up (in MA) eating them both ways, but mostly the phyllo version. I always liked both, but when I moved to NY and saw the dough version in a local bakery, I got excited and picked up a few. I was totally horrified when I bit into one - it was a gross vinegary mess. I'm told that how everyone makes them here, so I have never tried another one. I would MUCH prefer your version lol. :) #TastyTuesdays

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    1. Yuck! No vinegar in these! I'm horrified. Seriously.

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  12. Looks so tasty Kim :) thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays...

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  13. Thanks for sharing with us at Marvelous Monday this week! Pinned to my party board!

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  14. These cal...whoops. I clearly mean Spinach Pies are made for me. Spinach is my absolute favorite vegetable. Ever.

    It's funny that you have your Yoda pizza linked to this post. If I remember correctly (and sometimes I actually do) that's the picture that drew me to your blog.

    Thanks for sharing this week, Kim.

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    1. Thanks Michelle - Memmmmmmories, from the corners of myyyyyy minnnnnnnnd......

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  15. Glad I stopped by from Wednesday Whatsits. These look scrumptious!!

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  16. What a yummy way to get more spinach in your diet! I'd like to invite you to link up at Simple Supper Tuesday.
    http://www.hunwhatsfordinner.com/2014/03/simple-supper-tuesday-56.html

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  17. I love the trivia!! New England states are filled with so much rich history. The Spinach Pies look delicious as well. Thanks for sharing on Foodie Friday

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  18. These look AMAZING, girl! :) Featuring you on #GetHimFed on Anyonita Nibbles

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  19. You are a crazy woman. I have family from North Smithfield, RI... and yes, RI people are... well, a little odd at times.

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    1. Yeah....you KNOW what I'm talkin' about then, right?

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  20. I love spinach and these look so tempting. Featuring you on Tasty Tuesday at Ma Niche

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    1. Thank you, Tanusree!! Sharing on FB today.

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  21. I am pinning these lovely Cal...opps Spinach Pies to our Freedom Fridays-Links we love page!!! YUM!!!

    Hugs

    PS also sharing!!!

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