I alluded to my favourite pie in my ‘About’ section. Well here is the recipe: Ratatouille Pie with Mozzarella. Actually I think it is nicer as individual pasties, but you can do it either way. It is a bit time-consuming, but the result is worth it.
Roast potatoes and glazed parsnips go really well with it. Good waxy boiled potatoes are also nice. I also like to serve it with baked butternut squash (recipe included), and possibly Petits Pois Frais à la Française. For the recipe see my previous blog Spaghetti with Oyster Mushrooms and Sour Cream (it’ s there, honestly!)
To really make it special, serve with Haricot Bean Cappuccino laced with Truffle Oil!
The key to success is to roast the vegetables first, so that they acquire a light caramelization but remain juicy (if it’s brown it’s done, if it’s black it’s buggered.) Also do not cook the pies too long, so that the mozzarella is still oozy; too long and it will have the texture of a school rubber.
1 small courgette
1 small aubergine
1 medium red pepper
1 large red onion
12 cherry tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
1 handful fresh basil leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2tbsp olive oil
270g rich shortcrust pastry
125g buffalo mozzarella
1. Cut the vegetables into 3cm chunks.
2. Place in a large roasting tray or dish. Add the garlic, herbs and olive oil and mix until all the vegetables are coated.
3. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes at 180°, or until the vegetables are lightly browned, but not dried out. Allow to cool.
4. Add 2tbsp water and allow to cool.
5. Roll out the pastry into 4 equal disks about 15cm diameter. Brush the edge circumference with water.
6. Cut the mozzarella into 12 equal portions, and lay 3 on each pastry disk.
7. Add ¼ of the vegetable mix to each pastry disk.
8. Pinch the circumference together to form pasties. Brush with beaten egg.
9. Place the pasties on a greased baking tray, and bake in the oven at 180° for about 30 minutes until nicely browned.
Rich Shortcrust Pastry
150g plain flour
30g Parmesan cheese, grated
90g butter, chilled
1. Sift the flour.
2. Add the Parmesan cheese and mix.
3. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Cut the butter into small cubes and mix into the flour, by hand or in a processor.
5. Slowly add water until the pastry is elastic. (probably 2tbsps)
5. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Baked Butternut Squash
1 butternut squash
6 fresh thyme sprigs
50ml olive oil
Salt and pepper
1. Peel the squash (not strictly necessary), core and cit into 3cm chunks.
2 Place in a deep baking tray, add the oil and thyme, season, and mix well.
3. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 180° for about 45 minutes or until tender.
Note: an average squash will yield 6 to 8 portions.