Asparagus, pea & ricotta pie
Our second recipe from our very own cookbook A Pie For All Seasons to give people a taste of Pieminister from the comfort of their own home.
For those who aren’t quite up for experiments in the kitchen, you can always order our pies straight to your front door.
This is a spring clean of a pie. It’s coming to Asparagus season and this will make the perfect lunch in the sun (if you have no garden, a sunny spot indoors will do!) Eat it with the sensational rice and herb salad and you’ll feel the cobwebs disappear.
Asparagus, Pea & Ricotta Pie
Ingredients (serves 6)
For the pie
- 200g asparagus
- 500g ricotta cheese
- 200g peas
- 3 spring onions, sliced
- A small bunch of mint, chopped
- A small bunch of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Juice and grated zest of one lemon
- 2 free-range eggs
- 200ml double cream
- 375g puff pastry
- 1 free-range egg, lightly beaten, to glaze
- Sea salt and black pepper
For the Rice and Herb Salad
- 200g basmati rice
- Juice and zest of 2 lemons
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 100g flaked almonds, lightly toasted in a dry frying pan
- 20g mixed seeds
- 4 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
- 1 fennel bulb, finely shredded
- 150g cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- A bunch of mint and flat-leaf parsley, finely shredded
- 2 tsp sumac (optional)
First make your pastry. Now true puff pastry is very tricky to make, and we actually recommend the shop bought stuff with real butter. Very tasty, without the frustration. However, if you fancy giving it a go, try our rough puff pastry.
Put the flour and salt into a bowl and add the cubes of butter. Mix the water with the lemon juice, then add about three-quarters of it to the flour mixture. Stir briefly until everything comes together into a rough, shaggy dough, adding the remaining water if necessary. Place the dough on a floured board, press into a square, then roll it out into a long rectangle about 8mm thick. Don;’t turn the pastry while you are rolling, but be sure to lift it up and flour underneath if it begins to stick.
Fold up the bottom third of the pastry, then fold down the top third, like folding a letter. Give it a quarter turn and roll it out again – it’s best to work quickly and lightly so the butter doesn’t warm too much. Fold in three again, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes. Repeat the rolling and folding twice, then wrap again and chill thoroughly before use.
While your pastry is relaxing, you can make a start on the filling.
Trim the base off the asparagus spurs and slice them into 1cm thick pieces, leaving the tips about 4-5cms long. Put the asparagus pieces and half the tips in a large bowl. Add the ricotta, peas, spring onions, herbs, nutmeg, olive oil, lemon juice and zest, eggs and cream and mix together, seasoning well with salt and pepper. Transfer to a rectangular pie dish, about 30cm by 20cm.
Preheat the oven to 180⁰C/350⁰F/gas mark 4. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 3mm thick. Use to cover the pie, trimming off the excess, then brush with a beaten egg. Push the reserved asparagus tips into the pastry so that they stand up in a little line down the centre. Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown.
Meanwhile, make the salad. Cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet and put into a large bowl. Add the lemon juice and zest and the olive oil and stir gently to coat the rice. Pile in all the other ingredients and mix well. Season to taste and serve straight away, with the pie. It’s best to eat the salad pretty soon after it is made so the flavours and colours are really vibrant.