Christmas Pie with Walnut and Rosemary Pastry

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FOR THE PASTRY 400g/14oz plain flour
200g/7oz butter, cubed
200g/7oz walnuts, finely chopped
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

FOR THE FILLING
15g/½oz dried porcini mushrooms
3 tbsp olive oil
350g/12oz mixed mushrooms (e.g. shiitake, chestnut, flat), sliced
3 red peppers
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
225g/8oz risotto rice
850ml/1½pints vegetable stock
50g/1¾oz sun-dried tomatoes
50g/1¾oz vegetarian Parmesan, grated
225g/8oz fresh spinach, washed
beaten egg, for glazing
seasoning


You can make this layered pie up to two days in advance and finish baking on the day. Serve with Herb Gravy
Preparation: 40 minutes Cooking: 1 hour 40 minutes Serves 6 (if you like small portions!)
Can be frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost completely before reheating

1 Preheat the oven to 190C/ 375F/Gas 5. Sift the flour into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the walnuts, rosemary and a pinch of salt. Add 3 tablespoons cold water and mix to a firm dough. Wrap in plastic film and chill for 30 minutes.

2 For the mushroom layer, soak the porcini mushrooms in 150ml/½ pint hot water for 20 minutes. Drain, saving the liquid. Chop roughly and set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a frying pan and add the porcini and fresh mushrooms. Cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes until they are tender and beginning to turn golden. Set aside.

3 For the pepper layer, preheat the grill and place the whole peppers in the grill pan. Cook, turning frequently, until the peppers are blackened and charred. Place in a plastic bag, seal and leave to cool completely. When cooled, remove the skins and slice in half. Discard the seeds and cut the flesh into strips. Reserve six strips for garnishing.

4 For the rice layer, heat the remaining oil in a pan and cook the onion and garlic for 5 minutes until golden. Add the rice and toss in the oil and onions for 1 minute. Pour in the stock and saved porcini liquid and cook for 25 minutes, stirring frequently, until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed. Leave to cool then stir in the sun-dried tomatoes and Parmesan.

5 For the spinach layer, place the spinach in a large pan with the water that clings to its leaves. Cook gently until completely wilted. Drain and leave to cool.

6 Lightly grease an 18cm spring-form cake tin. Roll out two-thirds of the chilled pastry into a circle big enough to cover the base and sides of the tin. Use to line the tin, then prick the base with a fork. Loosely line with greaseproof paper add baking beans and bake for 20 minutes until the pastry is golden.

7 Spoon one third of the rice mixture into the bottom of the pastry case. Spread over the cooked spinach leaves. Spoon over another layer of rice then spread over the peppers. Top this with a final layer of rice and the mushroom mixture.

8 Roll out the remaining pastry to form a lid, trim away any excess and crimp the edges to seal. Roll out the excess pastry and cut out holly leaf shapes. Place on a baking sheet. Brush the pie and leaves with beaten egg. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden, removing the pastry leaves after 10 minutes. To serve, arrange the holly leaves, bay leaves and strips of pepper on top of the pie to decorate.

Per serving (one sixth of pie):
836 calories, Fibre 6g, Carbohydrate 93g, Fat 46g, Saturated fat 21g, Protein 18g, Added sugar none, Salt 1.54g.

from BBC Veggie Good Food Magazine