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5 less-decadent desserts and snacks

By: Enrique Gili on Dec. 22, 2011, 1:48 p.m.

Photo: V. Belov/Shutterstock

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Tuscan Sweet Spinach Pie

Suspend what you might think cooked spinach should taste like. Instead, have a piece of drool-worthy pie. This one gets its flavor from pumpkin spice, raisins and pine nuts instead of lots of sugar found in pumpkin pies. (It also has a lot less butter in the pastry.)
Tuscan Sweet Spinach Pie


  • 11 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 6 ounces sugar, divided
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces fresh spinach, chopped fine
  • 1 zucchini, chopped fine
  • 1 1/2 ounces raisins
  • 2 ounces pine nuts
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest, about 1 orange
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • 1 pinch salt
Time estimates

Prep time: 40 minutes

Total time: 2 hours, to allow cooling time


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine and stir first 4 ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Indent and pour yolks into center. Rinse hands under cold water. Stir and knead until a consistent dough forms. Cover and set aside in a warm place.
  3. Melt butter in large skillet until it foams, about 3 minutes. Saute spinach and zucchini. Remove from heat when spinach wilts and turns bright green, about 3 minutes. Cover, drain and place on dry towels to remove excess moisture.
  4. In mixing bowl combine sauteed veggies with remaining ingredients. Mix until well blended.
  5. On a flat dry surface lightly coated with flour, roll out dough into a circle. Invert a 7-inch inch shallow baking dish and cut around edges. Lightly grease baking dish and line interior with dough. Pour filling into dish. Press lightly to remove air pockets.
  6. To make a lattice, roll out remaining dough and cut into thin strips. Layer over pie filling to make an X pattern.
  7. Place on middle rack of oven. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The pie is done when a toothpick poked in the center comes away clean. Turn off oven and allow to cool on oven rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cook’s note: Prepping dough can be tricky. The key is to keep your hands cool and wet and the rolling pin dry. Or just use ready-made pie crust.

Yields 6 slices