Monday, 11 June 2012

Spinach and ricotta pie...

As we were having a picnic as part of my friend's hen do at the weekend, I obviously decided to bake a whole ton of food, including this spinach and ricotta pie. It's has been a firm favourite in my family for years now, and it's a brilliant vegetarian option for buffets and picnics (and meat-eaters always love it too!) I can't even remember where the recipe came from originally, and we've tweaked it loads along the way anyway - it's gorgeous, if I do say so myself!

Spinach and ricotta pie
50g pine nuts 
2 x 260g bags spinach
250g ricotta
100g ground almonds
3 eggs, beaten
80g parmesan, grated
500g block puff pastry

1. Toast the pine nuts until golden brown and set aside. Preheat the oven to 220C.
2. Put the spinach into a large pan and cook until wilted (or do what I do and microwave it in its bags!) Allow to cool and then squeeze out the excess water. 
3. In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta, almonds, eggs and parmesan, then add the spinach and pine nuts and some black pepper. 
4. Cut the block of pastry in half and roll out each half to form the top and bottom of the pie - about 10"x8". Put the bottom layer of pastry onto a lined baking tray, then add the filling, leaving about an inch around the edge. Brush the edge with milk and then put the top layer of pastry on and press or crimp the edges with a fork. Add some pretty decorations using the trimmings from the pastry if you want! 
5. Brush the whole pie with egg or milk, then bake for 15 minutes before turning the oven down to 190C and baking for a further 30 minutes or until the top is nicely brown.

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