Grandma Rossi's Spinach Pies are eagerly awaited by the family!

Lillian "Doll" Rossi - Grandma Rossi to many

This is a type of spicy spinach calzone. It is also known as a faugune in the regional dialect of Noepoli, in the Province of Potenza, Basilicata, a little town with about 1,200 residents in southern Italy.

Handing down recipes is exciting in any family. Grandpa Rossi's mother, Lucia Forte Rossi, passed on the recipe to Grandpa and Grandma Rossi. Lucia Forte had learned the recipe from her mother, Maddelena Forte.

Grandma Rossi has 6 children, 24 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren and more great grandchildren on the way.

This recipe is from Noepoli, Italy, the home town of Great Grandma Lucia Forte Rossi. Instead of spinach it uses endive or chard.

FOAGUNI (Calzoni di verdura)

Ingredienti: per l’impasto: 250 gr di farina - 1 mis. Di acqua tiepida – ½ mis. Di latte tiepido – 15 gr di lievito di birra – ½ cucchiaio di olio – sale q.b. per il ripieno: 1 kg di indivia o foglie di bietola – 150 gr di uvetta o di olive nere snocciolate – 1 peperoncino piccante – 60 gr di olio di oliva extra vergine – sale q.b.

Preparazione: Mettere a bagno l’uvetta in acqua tiepida. Preparare l’impasto: mescolare acqua, latte olio, lievito e sale.

Aggiungere la farina

Lasciare lievitare l’impasto coperto, per 1 ora circa.

Preparare il ripieno: lavare e mondare la verdura . Versarla in una terrina con l’uvetta strizzata ( o le olive), peperoncino, sale e olio, mescolando bene.

Dividere l’impasto in 6 parti e stenderlo sottile in forma possibilmente ovale.

Ungere la placca del forno, sistemare gli ovali di pasta e disporre su ognuno la verdura preparata: ripiegare la sfoglia e unire bene i bordi.

Ungere leggermente i calzoni in superficie e cuocerli in forno preriscaldato a 220° per 30 min. circa.

Sono ottimi caldi.

Spinach Pies

From Grandma Rossi


3-½ cups - Flour

¾ cup - Extra virgin olive oil

½ cup - Water

3 lbs. - Fresh Spinach or baby packaged spinach

5 tablespoons - Paprika

3 tablespoons - Granulated onion

2 tablespoons - Granulated garlic

a pinch -Cyan pepper

1-½ tsp. - Salt

1 teaspoons - Freshly ground pepper

½ cup - Extra virgin olive oil

Prepare dough

Put the flour in a bowl and make a hollow or depression in the center.

Pour in the olive oil. Then, using a spoon, mix the flour and olive oil until it forms what looks like little beads.

Next, add the water to the mixture. Knead by hand until the dough is soft and has a soft texture like marshmallows.

Divide the dough in 10-11 equal parts. Form the equal parts into balls and set aside.

Prepare spinach

Combine the dry ingredients.

Wash the spinach and shake out the excess water. Place the spinach into a large bowel.

Sprinkle on the dry ingredients mixture (paprika, onion, garlic, cyan pepper, salt and ground pepper).

Toss the spinach and the spices to coat the wet spinach leaves.

Pour the olive oil over the spinach. Toss gently to coat the spinach evenly in the spices and oil.

Make the spinach pies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On a lightly floured board, roll out each ball of dough into circles about 8 inches in diameter.

Place about 1 cup of the prepared spinach leaves on each dough circle.

Fold dough in half, completely enclosing spinach and crimp edges to hold together.

Bake about 35-40 minutes until pies are golden brown.

Serve immediately or cool and serve at room temperature.

Makes 10-11 spinach pies.

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Interesting Facts!

Spinach facts

Spinach is a fast growing crop and can be harvested in 40 days.

"Originally from Persia, Turkestan and Afghanistan, spinach was introduced to Spain by the Moors and has been grown there since the 11th century. It spread throughout Europe, especially among the peasants, from the 16th century onwards.

King Louis XVIII of France had a passion for spinach, though his doctor forbade it to him since he suffered from gout - advice which provoked a fit of anger that became famous throughout the kingdom. In Islamic countries spinach is called "the prince of vegetables."

Buying spinach

Look for firm whole leaves that are fresh and deep green. If sold in bunches, check that the roots have been cut just below the base of the leaves. Avoid any with yellowed leaves."
Source: The Worldwide Gourmet