This spinach pie is at the heart of most easter Sunday meals. Traditionally you make the pastry yourself, painstakingly rolling it out as thinly as possible – the aim would be to make 33 layers representing the age of Christ when he was crucified. If you don’t quite manage that many, it’s a good one for confession next week. The generous use of eggs shows how this was an extravagant treat in times of hardship.
The success of this recipe depends on finding good quality spinach and fresh ricotta from your deli-counter
Ingredients for 8
Spinach – 500g
Eggs – 6
Ricotta – 200g
Parmesan cheese – 2 tbsp
Artichoke hearts in olive oil – 100g
Breadcrumbs – 1 tablespoon
Double cream – 120ml
Marjoram – 1 tbsp freshly chopped
Puff pastry – 320g
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200oC/400oF/GM4. Cook the spinach in boiling salted water until tender then drain out the water really well (we’ve broken many a wooden spoon) and chop it up.
In a separate bowl, mix together 2 of the eggs, beaten, the ricotta, parmesan, breadcrumbs and cream and season with salt and pepper. Drain and chop the artichoke hearts and then add them, along with the marjoram and spinach to the ricotta mix. Mix well.
Butter a large pie dish. Roll out a quarter of the pastry and lay it in the dish so the edges hang over the side. Roll another quarter out and lay that on top of the first. Now spoon out half of the ricotta/spinach mixture onto the pasty. Make 4 hollows in the mixture and crack an egg into each one. Season each egg and then carefully spoon over the rest of the mixture. Roll out the other two quarters and place the first one on top of the mixture. Brush it with oil then add the last layer. Seal the edge with your fingers and prick the surface. Bake for about 60 minutes.