Wow! It’s March already and most of us have been battling gales, rain, flooding and snow so many of us will be huddling warmly at home when we can and maybe trying a spot of cooking.
This week it’s been #BritishPieWeek but instead of the usual heavy pastry and meaty filling we usually associate with a pie, I’m offering you a light Filo pie that is just as delicious the next day cold. I like Filo pastry for pies as it’s so easy to use and looks so pretty all scrunched up on top. Spinach and ricotta is a favourite of course, but I’ve added some crunch with walnuts and a bit of nutmeg for a warming flavour. I served mine warm with salad and coleslaw but it would be just as nice with some buttered, steamed veg and new potatoes. For even fewer calories you could substitute the butter for sprays of mild olive oil.
Ingredients (serves 4)
1 tbsp mild olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
250g baby spinach, washed
250g ricotta, drained if needed
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
100g Feta cheese, chopped or broken into chunks
75g walnuts, roughly chopped
25g butter, melted
4-6 sheets of Filo pastry (depending on size)
Heat the oil in a large pan (I used my wok) and fry the onion very gently for 5 minutes, add the garlic and continue frying without colouring for a further 5 minutes until soft. Add the spinach and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring and letting any liquid cook off. Tip into a sieve and press down with a spoon or ladle to remove as much excess liquid as possible. (Although I hardly pressed any out of mine). Cool.
In a large bowl, beat the egg with the ricotta and nutmeg. Season. Carefully stir in the feta, spinach and walnuts.
Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6
To assemble the pie, brush a little melted butter over a 20cm loose bottomed cake or flan tin. Unroll the Filo pastry, brush the top sheet with a little melted butter and line the tin, letting the excess pastry hang over the edge. Repeat with 3 more sheets turning each one so the points don’t line up and gently pressing each sheet into the tin. Spoon the spinach filling into the tin, pressing it down and into the edges. Fold the pastry points up and over the filling scrunching it as you go. I found I needed 2 more sheets, buttered and scrunched to fill in the centre of the pie. Finish off with brushing a bit more butter over the entire top of the pie for extra crunch.
Bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes until the Filo is golden brown and crisp. Remove from the tin and allow to cool a little on a cooling rack before serving. Also good served cold the next day.
I hope you enjoy my Filo pie!