Thursday, February 14, 2008

Cheese and Spinach Pies

Ingredients (serves 6) – 3.5 points per serve

  • 2 bunches (about 600g each) English spinach, leaves picked, washed, dried
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 1 large brown onion, halved, finely chopped
  • 200g reduced-fat ricotta
  • 60g reduced-fat feta, crumbled
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed coarsely chopped fresh continental parsley
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 sheets filo pastry
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp reduced-fat dairy spread (Weight Watchers), melted

  • Preheat oven to 190°C. Place the spinach and 2 tbs of the water in a large
    saucepan. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring
    occasionally, for 5-7 minutes or until spinach wilts. Drain and set aside for 20
    minutes to cool. Use your hands to squeeze out as much excess liquid as
    possible. Coarsely chop spinach and place in a large bowl.

  • Meanwhile, place the remaining water and onion in a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until onion softens. Remove from heat. Drain.

  • Add the onion, ricotta and feta to the spinach and stir to combine. Whisk together eggs and egg whites in a jug. Add to the spinach mixture along with the parsley and nutmeg. Stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.

  • Place filo sheets on a clean work surface. Cover with a dry tea towel, then a damp tea towel (this will prevent it drying out). Combine the oil and melted spread in a bowl. Lightly brush twothirds of 1 filo sheet with oil mixture. Fold crossways into thirds. Cut in half crossways. Line a 3cm-deep, round 11cm (top measurement) pie tin with half the pastry. Spoon one-sixth of the spinach mixture into the pie case and top with the remaining pastry to enclose filling. Press corners together to seal. Brush lightly with oil mixture. Repeat, in 6 more batches, with the remaining pastry, oil mixture and spinach mixture.

  • Place pies on a baking tray and use a small sharp knife to cut 2 small slits in the top of each pie. Bake in preheated oven for 23-25 minutes or until golden brown and puffed. Carefully transfer pies to serving plates and serve immediately.