12 ounces turkey breakfast sausage, removed from casings
1 ¼ cups diced yellow onion
1 ¼ cups diced red bell pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon Emeril's Italian Essence, or other dried Italian herb blend
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 ounces provolone cheese, coarsely grated
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 15-ounce package Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts (2 crusts)
Heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add the sausage and cook, stirring to break up any large clumps of meat, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer sausage to a heatproof bowl using a slotted spoon and set aside to cool.
Discard all but about 1 tablespoon of the rendered fat from the skillet. Add the onions and bell peppers and cook, stirring, until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, Italian Essence, salt, and crushed red pepper, and cook, stirring, until vegetables are golden brown around the edges, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
Transfer to a heatproof mixing bowl and set aside until cool. When cool, combine the browned meat and sautéed vegetables and refrigerate briefly to chill while you prepare the pastry.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Remove the pie crusts from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature as instructed on the box.
When the pie crusts have come to room temperature, remove them from their wrapping and roll out on a lightly floured clean work surface. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, gently roll each dough circle to a circumference of 12 inches. Using a sharp knife, cut each pie dough circle into 4 equal sized wedge shaped pieces. You should have 8 equal portions of dough.
Divide the cooled filling evenly among the pie dough portions, using your hands to compress the filling in the center of one side of each portion of dough. Divide the grated cheese evenly among the tops of the filling on each portion of dough. Place the remaining egg in a small bowl and, using a pastry brush, lightly brush the edges of the pastry lightly with the beaten egg. Fold the pastry up and over the filling so that the edges meet and gently ease to contain the filling. Using your fingers, press the dough on all sides to form a border around the filling. Using the tines of a fork, crimp the edges of the wedge-shaped package.
Lightly brush the package on the top with some of the remaining beaten egg, then poke a few vent holes in the top of the dough using a fork or the tip of a knife. Transfer to the parchment lined baking sheet and repeat until you have used all the filling and the pie dough portions. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Transfer to the oven and bake uncovered until golden brown and hot throughout, 22 to 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
Yield: 8 servings
2 ½ tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
In a small bowl combine all the ingredients thoroughly. Store in an airtight container.
Yield: Makes about 2/3 cup