Thursday, March 1, 2012
hungry thursday: lentil bolognese and spinach pie
This is a simple, easy and delicious midweek winter meal. On the weekends I tend to make a giant vat of lentil bolognese sauce which makes enough for 1 lasagne, 1 lot of pasta bolognese and 1 of these pies, maybe even a bit more :) The sauce freezes well and you can just defrost it when you need it.
On the pastry - you can use filo if you prefer, as obviously puff is higher in fat, but I just prefer the taste of puff and don't have pastry all that often so I figure I might as well have the one that I think tastes nicer! I figure all the threshold blitzing I've been doing lately might atone for the choice of puff over filo too. But I buy Jus-Rol puff pastry who do a light version of puff too, so I should see if my local supermarket has it next time. Jus-Rol are vegan too (apart from their all butter shortcrust!)
And while we're on that, I have managed to stick to an entire month cheese free, and am feeling less bloated and more energetic for it. So there you go, Phil lasted a month with no cheese! And still going! Miracles do happen! Hence the inclusion of Tofutti in this recipe, which I must say is rather delicious. I use it in lasagne too, and it's also very nice with baked potatoes.
You may think it's strange not to saute the spinach first, but you may know that spinach kind of...shrinks when cooked! Therefore one measly bag of spinach is not going to be enough to cover the lentil filling. I have tried putting the leaves on "raw" and cooked, and I think raw is best, as it steams inside the little pastry case while the pie cooks.
Lentil bolognese and spinach pie
2 sheets bought puff pastry (or filo if you prefer)
Approximately 1/3 batch of lentil bolognese sauce - either Sunday night spag bol or the sauce from lentil and walnut lasagne
1 x 140g bag washed spinach
1 x 225g Tofutti Creamy Smooth herb and garlic spread (called Better Than Cream Cheese in Oz and US)
Sesame seeds (for extra calcium!)
Soy milk, to brush the pastry
Preheat the oven to 200 C.
Spray a large pie dish (I use my lasagne dish) with cooking spray. Roll out one sheet of pastry and place on the bottom of the dish, making sure it goes up the sides as well. Trim any excess.
Place a layer of lentil bolognese sauce over the top of the pastry. Scatter spinach leaves over the top so the sauce is covered. Then dot the Tofutti spread evenly over the spinach layer. It is very thick, so you could mix it with some milk to thin it, but just try and dot it evenly about the spinach layer - it melts down when the pie cooks so should spread out fine. Top with a light grating of fresh nutmeg if you like.
Finally, place the other sheet of pastry over the top. Crimp the edges of the pastry together using a fork. Make a few light incisions on the pastry top to let some steam out. Or, do as I did here!
Brush the top of the pastry lid with soy milk. Scatter the top with sesame seeds.
Place in the oven for about 35-40 minutes or until the top is puffy and golden brown. I usually check it after half an hour. I have a history of burning things!
Serve the pie with a salad or, if it's freezing, cooked vegetables of your choice - we had garlicky chard and a few homemade potato wedges with ours. Delish!
This makes enough for 6 servings - we had some for dinner, then some for lunch the next day, and I froze the other two servings for a rainy day....or a lazy night, more likely!
With temperatures being what they have been here, there's nothing like a bit of comfort food to warm you from the inside out. Apart from soup, I love nothing better than a pie for dinner when it's thrashing with rain outside :)
PS: There's still time to enter the Drink Me Chai give-away!