Greek Spinach and Feta Pie (Spanakopita) with Black Olive Passata

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Greek Spinach and Feta Pie (Spanakopita)

Recipe: Greek Spinach and Feta Pie (Spanakopita) with Black Olive Passata

 

This is a Cretan recipe of Mediterranean flavours and a refreshing break from meat based dishes. Traditionally it is served hot or cold and cut into small bite-sized pieces as a snack, or in a larger portion with yoghurt and fresh salad.

The passata recipe comes from a classic Italian ‘puttanesca’, a rich sauce made of reduced tomatoes with garlic, capers, black olives and optional anchovies. Keep it strictly vegetarian by leaving the anchovies out, or for pescatarians and meat eaters the addition of anchovies to the sauce adds that secret taste of round salty goodness. The fillets and fish taste disappear during cooking and melt into the sauce, adding a rich flavour dimension.

 

Greek Spinach and Feta Pie (Spanakopita) with Black Olive Passata

Serves 4

Olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 spring onions, sliced thin
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp nutmeg
600gm baby spinach leaf
2 eggs lightly beaten
200gm feta, crumbled
250gm ricotta
8 sheets filo pastry
Extra olive oil for brushing
2 tbsp chopped parsley for garnish

Tomato Passata:
1 large red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
400gm tin chopped tomatoes
120ml of water
12 black kalamata olives, chopped
1 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
4 anchovy fillets (optional)
1 tsp chilli flakes
Salt and pepper

 

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. For the sauce: Fry chopped onions in olive oil until soft and translucent, add garlic and cook gently for 1 minute. Next add tinned tomatoes and water to the pan, bring mixture to the boil, then cover and simmer for  30 minutes. Check regularly to make sure sauce doesn’t dry out, adding small splashes of water if needed to loosen.
  3. For the pie: Fry onions in olive oil until soft, add garlic, spring onions and chilli flakes, cook for a further minute. Remove mixture from pan and place in a large bow to the side.
  4. Next in the same pan, start wilting the spinach in batches, draining any excess liquid. Place in the bowl along with onions and mix together well, seasoning with salt and pepper.
  5. In a separate bowl lightly whisk the eggs, add ricotta, feta, nutmeg and salt and pepper, beat together gently with a fork.
  6. To assemble the pie: Divide spinach mixture and cheese mixture into 4 portions. Next, lightly brush a pie dish with olive oil. Layer 2 sheets of filo pastry along the bottom with the edges rising up and over-lapping the sides. All the edges will come together at the end to form the top of the pie.
  7. Start by layering spinach first and then cheese and topping with 2 more sheets of filo pastry, brushing the filo gently with olive oil for each new layer. After the final layer of cheese, gently fold over-hanging filo on top of the pie to create the final layer. Bake for 40 minutes
  8. To finish the sauce: In a frying pan cook garlic, chilli flakes, black olives capers and anchovies for a few minutes, then add the tomato sauce. Heat through, remove from heat and gently blend the sauce until smooth.
  9. Add sauce to the bottom of a plate or shallow bowl, top with a slice of spinach and feta pie, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with chopped parsley.

Greek Spinach and Feta Pie (Spanakopita)

Greek Spinach and Feta Pie (Spanakopita)

 

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