What a fun meal! I am going to adapt this idea to all kinds of different fillings. Meat pies, or pasties, have a long tradition. When Cornish miners migrated to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in the 1800’s they brought this meat pie recipe with them. It was later adopted by the wave of Finnish miners who followed. It was easy to eat while underground. The miners reheated their hand pies on shovels set over mining candles.
I have mentioned before that David’s Mother’s family were Finnish and settled in the UP. Their last name was Syrjanen. David’s Grandfather Gus Syrjanen founded the Trenary Home Bakery that is still in operation today. It is known for its Trenary Toast. There is also a family connection to designers and architects Eliel and Eero Saarinen. When we were in the UP researching family history we enjoyed eating pasties at several small restaurants. At the time, David did not love them, but the version I made this time was a real hit.
It was probably the hot chicken sausage that did it for him. Most pasty recipes use ground beef and potatoes, which can be rather bland. This was very tasty with the sausage, onions, red bell peppers and spinach. The crust was made from Pillsbury pie dough so was easy to assemble. You could make your own pastry but I needed a quick dinner the night that I made these. They were perfect over a tossed salad.
Pasties or hand pies are so versatile. You can fill them with anything. How about a Mexican filling with ground beef, cumin, salsa and cheese. Or make it vegetarian with black beans and cheese. My DIL Kristen made a version using pizza dough, seasoned chicken, sour cream and cheese. There are so many possibilities.
SAUSAGE AND SPINACH TURNOVERS (Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine )
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 Medium red potato, peeled and diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 (3.5 oz.) links of hot chicken Italian sausage, casings removed
3 cups bagged washed baby spinach
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Salt to taste
1/2 package refrigerated pie dough (such as Pillsbury)
1 tablespoon water
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil. Add potatoes, bell pepper, and onion to pan; saute 4 minutes or until onion begins to brown, stirring frequently. Add sausage; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in spinach; cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Stir in basil, crushed red pepper, and salt. Remove from heat.
Cut dough into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion into a 5-inch circle. Spoon about 1/2 cup sausage mixture on half of each circle, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Fold dough over sausage mixture until edges almost meet. Bring bottom edge of dough over top edge; crimp edges of dough to form a rim.
Place turnovers on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Combine 1 tablespoon water and egg white in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk; brush evenly over dough. Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons cheese over each turnover. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.