Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mushroom, Spinach, and Ricotta Pie

Okay, so I know what you're thinking.  

Those new boots would look great with that dress I bought on sale last year.

Just kidding. Just kidding. 

You may be wondering, 'Um, where are the sweets?' Well, for today, I've gone savoury on you - but I have a really good reason for that. I promise.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that mushrooms may have a direct link in the prevention of breast cancer? Incredible, isn't it?  

Mushrooms contain “conjugated linoleic acid” (CLA) which suppresses a natural substance in the body called aromatase. By blocking aromatase, physicians can reduce the levels of circulating estrogen in post-menopausal women. That is important because, according to the Canadian Cancer Society, high levels of estrogen are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer.

Dr. Chen of the City of Hope Cancer Centre in Los Angeles says, "Diet is a key consideration for disease prevention because it is something that everyone can control. Our research shows that women may benefit from a balanced diet, which includes about 3.5 ounces of mushrooms per day.”

White button, portabella, crimini and shiitake mushrooms showed significant inhibitory effects with large mushrooms having the strongest activity.
Mushrooms Canada have joined forces with the Breast Cancer Society of Canada to help support research for the prevention, early detection, and treatment of breast cancer. They've also paired up with some amazing folks at Food Bloggers of Canada for an opportunity to create some delicious mushroom recipes. It's okay. You can drool. 

In addition, for every kilogram of mushrooms sold in the pink packages from September 24 to November 10, a contribution will be made to the Breast Cancer Society of Canada.

See, I told you I had a good reason for ditching my beloved sweets.

I'm all about keeping the girls healthy - and I'm not talking about the girls I go out for dinner with and have a good chinwag. I'm talking about the ones that will look great under the dress I'm about to pair those must have boots with.

Having good breast health is important now more than ever. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, this year alone:

  • An estimated 22,700 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 5,100 will die of it. 
  • An estimated 200 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 55 will die of it. 
  • On average, 62 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer every day. 
  • On average, 14 Canadian women will die of breast cancer every day

Those are some scary statistics. So on your next girls night out, order that large pizza with extra mushrooms, have that chinwag with your girls, and don't be afraid to speak up and speak about your 'other' girls and what you can do to help keep them healthy.  

Knowledge is power. 

And so is strength in numbers. Let's fight to find a cure for breast cancer! 

*Come and join us for a Twitter party tonight (October 3rd) with Mushrooms Canada in support of the Go PINK campaign in support of the Breast Cancer Society of Canada.


Shortcrust pastry:
2¼ cups all purpose flour
1 cup butter, COLD and cubed
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
6 tablespoons ice water


1 punnet each of white and crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch of fresh spinach or 1-10ounce package of frozen spinach, drained well
15 ounces of ricotta cheese, drained
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon pepper 
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced and sauteed
1 clove garlic


½ cup Pecorino cheese, shredded
½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded

To make pastry:

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese together. Add butter and begin to work into flour. Add water as needed up to 6 tablespoons. Try not to overwork the dough or it will become tough. Once it comes together, form into a ball and wrap in cling wrap. Refrigerate for about an hour to allow gluten in the flour to relax. 

Remove stems of spinach and wash thoroughly. Place in a skillet and cook spinach over medium heat until it becomes wilted. Remove from heat. Place spinach on paper towels to drain. Once cooled, squeeze to remove excess water. 

In a saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil and onions. Saute for about 5 minutes or until onions are clear. Add garlic the last few minutes. If you add garlic in the beginning, it can become bitter, so I always add it at the end of my cooking, just enough to release the flavor; set aside. 

Wash mushrooms with a mushroom brush or damp paper towel. Using a knife or egg slicer, slice into sections. Place mushrooms in a frying pan over medium heat until tender. Drain any excess water. 

In a large mixing bowl, place ricotta (be sure liquid has been drained) in a bowl. Add eggs, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Add in mushrooms and spinach. Combine until incorporated. 

Preheat oven to 350ºF. On a floured surface, roll out dough. Place dough in a 9-inch springform pan, ensuring bottom and sides are covered. 

Spoon in filling. Place cheeses on top and decorate with mushrooms. 

Bake for 40-45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest for about 5-10 minutes before enjoying. 

Happy Baking!


  1. This looks absolutely delicious! A great way to use those PINK mushrooms! :)

    1. Aw, thanks Brittany! There are never leftovers when I make this dish. I should know by now that I need to make 2 pies. Always make 2. Ha! XO

  2. I know what I am having for dinner tomorrow night! Thanks Jenny for the recipe! It looks soooo goooood!! :)

  3. Fantastic. Thank you.