Butternut, pecan, ricotta and sage pasties

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Preparation info

  • Makes

    6

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

Vegetables: The new food heroes

Vegetables

By Peter Gordon

Published 2007

  • About

These pasties require no baking tins, so can be knocked up quite quickly-even quicker if you buy pre-rolled sheets. You can make them any size you want. For a starter, they can be made with discs of pastry the size of a saucer; for a big group, roll out a large square, then fill and fold in half to give you a rectangle that you can simply slice across. Pumpkin and kumara also work really well in these pasties, and you can replace the pecans with walnuts, hazelnuts or pine nuts. If you don’t have pumpkin seed oil, you could add walnut or argan oil, or a flavoured olive oil instead. Serve the pasties with a leaf salad, a bean and pea salad dressed with mint and lemon infused oil, or some grated raw beetroot tossed with lemon juice and olive oil.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into 1.5cm cubes
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 20 sage leaves, shredded
  • 800 g puff pastry
  • 120 g toasted pecans
  • 500 g ricotta
  • 4 tablespoons pumpkin seed oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons flour

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6 and line a baking tray with parchment. Mix the butternut squash, onion, olive oil and half the sage together, season with salt and a little pepper and lay on the lined baking tray. Roast until the squash is cooked (a knife goes through it easily), then take from the oven and leave to cool.

Divide the pastry in half and roll each half out to a 60x20cm rectangle. Using a 20 cm diameter plate, cut out 3 rounds from each piece. Lay these on a tray and put in the fridge to rest for at least 20 minutes.

Once the butternut squash has cooled, tip it into a large bowl and mix in the pecans, ricotta and pumpkin seed oil, making sure you don’t crush the butternut.

Take the pastry rounds from the fridge and allow them to come to room temperature.

Beat the egg with a pinch of salt and brush the pastry completely on one side with the egg-wash – it’ll be easier to do this one piece at a time. Take one-sixth of the butternut squash mixture and dollop it in the centre of a pastry round, then carefully fold the pastry in half, making sure the filling doesn’t ooze out. Dip a fork in the flour and use it to press down and seal the edges. Try to squeeze out any excess air as you do this – otherwise it can make the pastie pop open in the heat of the oven. As you finish each pasty, place it on a tray lined with parchment. Brush the remaining egg wash over the pasties and prick each one several times with the fork.

Bake for 25–35 minutes, until the pastry is golden and cooked through. Eat them straight from the oven or leave them to cool and take on a picnic.