sort of spanakopita (spinach & cheese pie)
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
I say "sort of" because, apart from having no claim whatsoever to any particular knowledge of authentic Greek food, I largely made this recipe up after tasting some delicious triangular pastries that were served to me once at a restaurant under that same name, and finding out from various conversations and internet wikipedia-ing that yes, ricotta appeared a suitable addition.
Ingredients
  • 2 packets of phyllo pastry
  • 1 brown onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1kg frozen spinach (four boxes)
  • 1 bunch of parsley, chopped finely
  • 500g greek feta
  • 200g ricotta
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • a pinch of dried chilli flakes
  • (optional: ¼C pine nuts, toasted)
  • 3 eggs
  • 250g butter
How to make it
  1. Take the phyllo pastry out of the freezer and place it in the fridge for at least three hours, if not overnight, to defrost in its plastic packet. Take the spinach out of the freezer and let it defrost too.
  2. Chop the onions into a fine dice and mince the garlic finely. Fry the onion and garlic in a saucepan with a little bit of oil until they are translucent, but not browned. Set aside to cool.
  3. Take the defrosted spinach and tip it into a chux wipe, over a large bowl. Gather up the sides of the chux wipe and squeeeeeeeeeeze as best you can to get as much of the liquid out as possible. After turning my sink a pale green colour, and tipping the remaining spinach out of the chux wipe, I ended up with about 350g of the green stuff. This is good.
  4. Mix the squeezed spinach with the chopped parsley, crumbled feta, ricotta, spices, eggs, cooled onion & garlic and (if you wish and don't have nut allergies happening) some chopped, toasted pine nuts. Split the mixture into two equal portions.
  5. Take the phyllo pastry out of the fridge and lay it flat on top of a sheet of greaseproof paper. Lay a slightly damp tea towel over the top to protect it from drying out.
  6. Take a second piece of greaseproof paper (about the same size as the phyllo sheets) and place that in front of you. Melt half the butter and grease two 23cm round cake tins well. Hold onto that brush!
  7. Take one sheet of phyllo pastry (and re-cover the rest with the tea towel). Lay the phyllo on the greaseproof paper in front of you and brush thoroughly with melted butter.
  8. Take a second sheet of phyllo pastry and lay it on top of the first, smoothing it out. Now brush that layer of pastry with melted butter.
  9. Lay a third sheet of phyllo pastry on top of the second, buttered, sheet of pastry and smooth it out. Repeat the process with a fourth sheet.
  10. Once you have buttered the fourth sheet of phyllo pastry, take about ⅛ of your total mixture (so ¼ of the mix that you have set aside for this pie) and place it in a sausage along the long side of the pastry stack, about 1 inch in from the edge.
  11. Using the greaseproof paper to help you, roll the pastry over the sausage of green mixture, and then round and round until you have what looks like a sausage roll. Curl it up into a spiral and place the rolled pastry into the middle of a cake tin.
  12. Repeat the process (adding additional pastry cheese spinach sausage shaped lengths to the end of the existing ones) until you have squeezed four lengths into each pan and all of the mixture is used up.
  13. Brush the tops of the pastry with (yet more!) butter and bake for about an hour in a 180C oven while you clean yourself (and your counter) of grease.
  14. Eat hot!
Recipe by onebitemore at https://onebitemore.com/2012/12/swirly-spanakopita-pie/