You can make the components of this delicious lunch or supper pie recipe ahead of time and assemble just before baking. Add a fresh salad for a satisfying meal.

Filling:
1 large onion
1/2 pound mushrooms
2 slices bacon, uncooked
4 – 6 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons tarragon
2 10-ounce packages frozen spinach
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 large eggs
1 cup soft bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/3 cup fresh parsley

Crust:
1-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, cold and in pats or pieces
1/3 cup cream cheese
2 large eggs

Prepare the filling:
Skin and finely chop the onion. Wipe and thinly slice the mushrooms. Finely chop the bacon. Mince or press the garlic. Squeeze the excess moisture from the thawed spinach. Rinse and finely chop the parsley.

In a large pan over medium heat, stir together the onion, mushrooms, bacon, garlic and tarragon. Stirring frequently, cook for 15 – 20 minutes. Timing tip: the mushrooms will give up some liquid and the bacon will provide a bit of fat which you will use to cook the ingredients until the onions are golden brown.

Remove the pan from the heat. Crumble the spinach into the pan and add the ricotta cheese, eggs, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and parsley. Stir to blend well.

Prepare the crust:
In a food processor or bowl combine the flour, butter and cream cheese. If using a food processor, pulse if mixing by hand beat vigorously with a fork, until the mixture forms coarse crumbs. Add 1 egg and pulse or beat until the dough holds together.

Place your dough on a lightly floured board and pat into a round, turning and lightly flouring as you form the round. Roll your dough into a 10-inch round. You can use a decorative cookie cutter to cut a couple of shapes from the center of the dough, reserve the cut-outs.

Assemble and bake:

Turn your filling into a 9-inch pie pan or casserole dish. Top with the dough, fold the edges under and flute firmly against the pan edge. Place your dough cut-outs decoratively on top of the dough. Lightly beat the remaining egg. Brush the top of the dough and cut outs with the beaten egg.

Bake in a 400° oven for 30 – 40 minutes, until thoroughly heated and crust is rich golden brown. If the edges of the crust or cut-outs darken too quickly, lightly cover with foil until the filling is hot.

Reheat the entire pie or any leftovers in a 350° oven for 30 – 40 minutes, covering the crust with foil if needed.

Yield: 6 – 8 servings.

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