Single dishes that have it all -- vegetables, meat, and grain -- satisfy my inner hungry peasant. And if the dish involves a savory crust piled high with sausage and veggies, I consider it to be true comfort food. Only a salad is needed to make this into a perfect meal. The inspiration for this dish is a ratatouille potpie (topped with biscuits and without a crust) which Melissa Clark published in The New York Times. - calendargirl —calendargirl
Test Kitchen Notes
I love this pie. The ratatouille filling has a deeper richness added by roasting the veggies and then combining the sautéed onions and garlic, and the sausage adds additional great flavor – I used hot Italian rather than sweet because that’s how I roll. The crust (I am 46 years old and this weekend I made my FIRST scratch pie crusts!) comes together easily and bakes up super flaky and light. I had to use shortening instead of lard because the store was out (the Foodie on duty assured me this was OK) and it worked great. I loved the extra touch of the Stilton in the crust – I did a full top crust with an egg wash and it was pretty and tasty. I might actually dot a bit of extra stilton over the pie before putting the top crust on next time – then again I am a cheese hound. I had the pie for dinner with a salad and a glass of Belleruche Côtes du Rhône (Sasha got me hooked on that stuff) and it was grand. - aargersi —The Editors
one 8 or 9 inch pie
For the Stilton Crust:
1 3/4 cups
all purpose flour (King Arthur)
cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 1/2 inch cube
cold Stilton, about 2 tablespoons, cut in 4-5 pieces
For the Ratatouille Filling:
1 1/2 pounds
eggplant, skin on, cut into chunks
small zucchini and yellow squash, cut into chunks (bi-color varieties are great). If larger squash are used, remove seeds before cutting into chunks.
onion, cut into large dice
2 large cloves
1 26-28 ounces
can diced tomatoes with their juice
sweet or spicy sausage meat, without casings. Ground lamb is also lovely.
olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
minced Italian parsley
salt & pepper to taste
In This Recipe
First make the crust: place flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse once or twice, to mix the dry ingredients.
Add butter, lard and Stilton, and process in short bursts until coarsely blended.
Add water, a few drops at a time, until the mixture just begins to come together. This may require as little as 2 tablespoons, so go slowly.
Once the dough begins to form, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, gather it together into two cakes, one a bit larger than the other (the larger cake will be the bottom crust). Refrigerate for 3-4 hours, or overnight.
To make the pie: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, toss the squash and eggplant together with the quarter cup of olive oil until they are coated, season with salt and pepper to taste and spread in a single layer in shallow roasting pans or on a couple of baking sheets. Roast until the vegetables are softened and beginning to color, about 20 - 25 minutes.
While the eggplant and squash are roasting, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and saute over medium heat until it is translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute or so, until the garlic is fragrant, but not browned. Remove onion mixture from the pan and set aside.
Put the sausage into the same pan you used for the onion, and breaking it up with a wooden spoon, saute over medium heat until it is nicely browned.
Add the onion and garlic mixture to the sausage, then stir in the canned tomato chunks and heat through for a minute or so. (If you are using fresh tomatoes, cook for about 8-10 minutes.) Now add the roasted vegetables, the parsley and thyme, and stir gently to combine. Remove from heat.
To assemble the pie: roll out the larger cake of dough and line your pie dish, letting the edges of dough fall over the sides of the pie plate. Spoon the filling into the crust. Fold the edges which hang over the sides in any decorative way you wish, building a little ridge along the rim of the pie plate. Next, roll out the smaller disc of dough. You can cut strips to form a lattice or decorate the top of the pie with shapes cut from cookie cutters or freehand. If you wish, brush the crust lightly with milk or egg yolk diluted with a bit of milk.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 and bake for another 25 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned.