In honour of Meat-Free Week 2015, this lovely recipe is slightly adapted from a recipe published in Cook Vegetarian magazine in April 2013.
Ingredients (serves 4):
150g plain wholemeal flour
150g plain flour
½ tsp salt
150g butter, chilled and diced
300g unpeeled potatoes, cut into chunks
225g baby spinach
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
250g ricotta cheese
75g grated Parmesan
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp each salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten, for glazing
1- Make the pastry first; rub the two kinds of flour, salt and butter together with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add about 4tbsp of ice-cold water, to bring the mixture together to form a soft dough (you may need more or less water; it all depends on the flours you use, but wholemeal flour tends to absorbs more water. Simply add the water 1tbsp at a time until the dough comes together.) Wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
2- In the meantime, cook the diced potato in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
3- Place the spinach in a colander and pour boiling water over it to wilt it. Once the spinach is cool enough to handle, squeeze it in your hands to get rid of as much water as possible, then chop finely.
4- Place the spinach in a large mixing bowl, with the garlic, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper and stir.
5- Pre-heat your oven to 190oC/170oC fan. Line a large tray with baking parchment. Stir the cooled potato in the spinach and cheese mixture.
6- On a well-floured surface, cut the dough in four equal pieces. Roll each piece into a circle about 20cm across and 5mm thick. Using a small plate (approximately 20 cm across), cut out a circle from each rolled circle of dough with a paring knife. Arrange one quarter of the filling on half of each circle of dough, leaving a 1cm border around the edge. Brush the edges with the beaten egg, bring them together to seal and crimp for a decorative finish (I used a fork prongs to do the crimping along the edge.) Chill the pies for 10 minutes.
7- Place the pies on the prepared baking tray and brush with the remaining beaten egg. Cut a slit on top of each pasty, sprinkle them with a little pinch of coarse sea salt and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Serve the pasties hot or cold.
They went down pretty well in our household! J