Erbazzone is a delicious savory pie rich in greens. Also called Scarpazzone—from the language Scarpazoun—this dish originated in Emilia Romagna as a simple dish consisting of seasonal greens enclosed in a flaky pie crust with herbs that delivered even more flavor.
It also used a good deal of lard because according to the Emilian dialect, “Nothing from pork could be thrown away.”
My grandma always made it with the vegetables she grew in her vegetable garden. She then baked it in a copper baking pan in the wood oven in the courtyard of her farm, which also served the whole neighborhood. So, as you can imagine, there was always a friendly competition for the best erbazzone.
My grandma’s recipe consists of spinach or chard, breadcrumbs, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and smoked bacon. Everything is enclosed in a pie crust similar to a short crust pastry. I like this recipe because it is both easy to prepare and always turns out right, a guaranteed success. Are you ready for a healthy, delicious recipe? Here you are!
When can you eat erbazzone?
Prepare it for a picnic or a lunch break along with some crisp green salad because erbazzone is very nutritious but doesn’t fill you up completely. Or you can cut it into small squares and serve it as an appetizer along with some refreshing drinks. It’s the perfect finger food to make your cocktails more enjoyable.
For the dough
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour (if you like a more rustic texture and taste, use wholegrain flour)
- 3 tbsp of lard or butter (30g)
- ¼ cup + 3 tbsp of milk (100ml)
- 2 tbsp of olive oil (25g)
- Salt and pepper
- Lukewarm water
For the filling
- 3 lbs of spinach, chard, or a mix of greens (1.5 kg)
- 2 green onions or 1 small yellow onion
- 7 strips of diced bacon, ham, or mortadella
- ¼ cups of olive oil
- 4 tbsp or ½ stick (50g) of butter
- 2 handfuls of breadcrumbs
- 1 small bunch of fresh parsley
- ¾ cups of grated Parmigiano Reggiano (about 80g)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a big mixing bowl combine the softened butter, flour, a pinch of salt, and milk;
- Mix well and then knead until a smooth, elastic dough forms; add a few teaspoons of water if the dough doesn’t come together;
- If the dough gets too stiff, add some more milk;
- When smooth, make a ball and wrap it in plastic wrap; let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes;
- Wash and cook the spinach in salted boiling water; then drain it and squeeze out all the liquid;
- Slice the green onions into thin rings;
- In a pan, melt the butter or lard, add the green onions, and stir in the spinach;
- Season it with salt and pepper, sauté it for 5-6 minutes, remove it from the heat, and sprinkle with chopped parsley;
- Let it cool down completely and add grated Parmigiano Reggiano;
- Divide the dough into two halves;
- Roll out the first half and place it in a greased baking pan; prick the first layer with a fork and put in the spinach filling;
- Roll out the second ball of dough, thinner than the first, on the floured board with the rolling pin and place it on the top of the pie. Crimp the edges and prick the top layer with a fork;
- Pre-heat the oven to 400°F (200°C). When ready, bake it for 30 minutes;
- A few minutes before the end, brush the surface of the pie with a piece of lard;
- Put it back in the oven and bake for a few more minutes. Your erbazzone is ready.
A little time-saving advice
You could have really delicious results in less time with this advice:
- Use a decent store-bought pie crust
- Replace fresh spinach or chard with frozen greens (you need about 750g).
How can you store it?
Once cooled, cover your erbazzone with plastic wrap. It keeps fresh for up to 2 days in the fridge. It can be also frozen, either raw or cooked if you have used fresh ingredients.