Erbazzone (Chard Pie)

Erbazzone is a savory pie from the town of Reggio Emilia in Northern Italy that is filled with chard (and sometimes also other greens, including spinach). I was reminded of it when Stefano posted his version of it. As usual with traditional Italian recipes, there are many versions. But for Erbazzone there seems to be an even greater variety than usual. And they all claim to be the authentic recipe of course. There are two main versions, with pastry (as I’ve prepared here), or with egg. There are even versions without pastry but with eggs, that are more like a frittata than a pie. Simona of Grembiula da Cucina is from the region, and she says that erbazzone always has egg. Her version doesn’t have any pastry and is like a frittata. Next time I will make it like that. I wonder what she will say about the version I prepared today. Some use only the chard leaves, others include the stalks as well. Some include spinach. Some versions use green onions, others use regular onions, or garlic. Some versions (like Stefano’s) are enriched with pancetta or lardo, which can be put in the filling, but also on top of the pie. There are even versions with rice or ricotta. And then there is the shape, which can be round or rectangular. And all of them are called erbazzone, or sometimes scarpazzone.

I wanted to make a very basic version that is made only from pasta matta (pastry made from flour and water with only a bit of fat), chard, onion, garlic, and parmigiano reggiano cheese. For the best flavor use lard, but if you want to keep it vegan you could also use olive oil. (Note that lard is rendered pig fat, called strutto in Italian, and is not to be confused with lardo, which is cured fatback.) It turned out delicious, with crunchy pastry and a very flavorful filling that brought out the natural sweetness of the chard.

Ingredients

Serves 2

500 grams (1.1 lbs) chard, washed and cut into ribbons (leaves and stalks)

1 small onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled

50 grams (1.8 oz) freshly grated parmigiano reggiano

salt and freshly ground black pepper

5 Tbsp (70 grams) lard, at room temperature (or extra virgin olive oil)

200 grams (1 1/3 cups) flour

Instructions

Start by making the pasta matta. Combine 200 grams flour with 2 tablespoons lard, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a bit less than 120 ml (1/2 cup) water in the bowl of the stand mixer.

Mix with the paddle attachment until the dough has come together. Add a bit more water if necessary.

When the dough has come together, switch over the the dough hook…

…and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Wrap the dough in cling film and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

Heat up 2 tablespoons of lard in a frying pan.

Add a minced small onion and a whole peeled garlic clove. Season with salt and stir for a couple of minutes until the onion is translucent.

Add 500 grams of chard.

Cook, covered, over medium heat, until the chard is tender but firm to the bite, about 20 minutes. Stir regularly. Cook uncovered towards the end if it still looks liquid. At the end, the chard should look quite dry.

Turn off the heat and remove the garlic. Allow the filling to cool somewhat while you roll out the dough.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

Divide the dough into 2/3 and 1/3. Roll out the biggest piece to a circle of about 28 cm (11 inches).

Grease a 22 cm (9 inch) oven dish with lard.

Line the oven dish with the rolled out dough. Prick the bottom all over with a fork.

Transfer the filling to a bowl and add 50 grams of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano.

Stir to mix. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place the filling in the prepared oven dish.

Roll out the remaining piece of dough to a circle that is the size of the oven dish.

Place that circle on top of the filling, and pinch the edges together to close the pie.

Brush the top with lard.

Pierce the top all over with a fork so steam will be able to escape.

Bake the erbazzone for about an hour at 180C/350F or until it is golden.

Allow to cool somewhat before serving.

Flashback

DSC08240

Duck breast with orange sauce is a French classic that remains delicious.

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19 thoughts on “Erbazzone (Chard Pie)

  1. Yes! With pastry! You are ‘making’ me bake and this one makes simple, delicious sense: I have a funny idea my country grandmother I barely knew would have ‘approved’ 🙂 ! No nonsense but so yum!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. …erbazzone is indeed confusing, because it means both the pastry pie and the eggless dish: two different dishes with the same name (and of course the same genealogy) + both delicious
    stefano
    ps check: struzzo vs strutto at the end of yr text 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Per la pasta frolla:
        300 gr di farina
        100 gr di burro
        100 gr di zucchero
        1 uovo + 1 albume (il suo tuorlo verrà utilizzato nel ripieno)
        1 cucchiaio di lievito per dolci (omesso)
        un pizzico di sale
        Per il ripieno:
        200 gr di ricotta
        100 gr di mandorle
        100 gr di amaretti
        1 tuorlo (quello rimasto dalla frolla)
        100 gr di spinaci già cotti e strizzati (anche surgelati)
        ½ bicchiere di Sassolino* (ho contato circa 8 cucchiai)
        3 cucchiai di zucchero.

        Preparare la pasta frolla, stenderla a circa 3/4 mm di spessore e foderare uno stampo da crostata diametro 24 circa, avendo cura di tenere da parte un poco di pasta per fare la griglia sul ripieno.
        Per preparare il ripieno si può impastare tutto nel mixer avendo cura di tritare preventivamente gli amaretti, le mandorle e gli spinaci già cotti e raffreddati.
        Io ho tritato gli spinaci cotti e raffreddati, ho aggiunto mandorle e amaretti tritati e i 3 cucchiai di zucchero, poi la ricotta, il tuorlo e gradualmente il liquore (in modo da poterlo eventualmente dosare a gusto proprio).
        Riempire il guscio di frolla con l’impasto del ripieno, completare con la griglia di pasta.
        Cuocere a 180° per un’ora circa (nel mio forno).
        Il ripieno può gonfiarsi parecchio in cottura, ma in raffreddamento poi si sgonfia.

        *Il Sassolino è un liquore tipico delle zone di Sassuolo (Mo) a base di anice, che si usa generalmente nella preparazione dei dolci, può essere tranquillamente sostituito con la Sambuca.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Good morning Paola and Stefan and ‘thank you’ to you both: What a good place this blog is turning out to be to learn ‘extra’ Italian from afar! This is very interesting and I only had to look up one word 🙂 ! And shall try!!!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thank you Eha, it’s quite funny, learning foreign language in a food blog ;). Stefan is great, he is Dutch but he speaks fluently English, Italian and probably more …

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Ne è nata una discussione qui in sala d’aspetto. C’è anche chi lo fa’ senza uova. Chi con le foglie cotte, chi assolutamente solo crude, Con la pasta matta, brisèe,sfoglia o senza. Fritto o cotto. Sempre erbazzone però! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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