Spanakopita is a traditional Greek pie made with layers of crisp flaky filo pastry filled with a mixture of spinach, ricotta cheese and Feta cheese. Serve it as a main course with salad or as a starter with olives and tomatoes. Filo pastry is easy to use and is a lighter alternative to shortcrust and puff pastry as long as you don’t brush it too liberally with butter. When using filo pastry keep it covered with cling film until you are ready to use it otherwise the sheets will dry out very quickly and break into pieces. This tasty spanakopita recipe makes the perfect party food for guests to nibble on when cut into bite-sized pieces.
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 450g baby spinach leaves, rinsed and drained
- 2 x 250g pots ricotta cheese
- 1 egg, beaten
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- 200g Feta cheese, crumbled
- 10 sheets filo pastry, defrosted if frozen
- 75g butter, melted
- Pine nuts, for serving
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 mins, stirring, until softened.
At the same time cook the spinach in a separate large pan, without adding any extra water, for 2 mins until just wilted. Drain well and squeeze out any excess moisture.
Place the ricotta cheese in a bowl, add the onion and garlic with the beaten egg. Season with freshly ground pepper and a little grated nutmeg and mix well. Lightly stir in the spinach and crumbled Feta.
Brush one sheet of filo with melted butter and use to line a 25cm diameter flan tin or shallow baking tin allowing any spare pastry to hang over the edges. Repeat with 4 more sheets of pastry placing them at different angles in the tin making sure there are no gaps. Place the spinach mixture on the top and spread out evenly. Fold any overhanging pastry over the filling, then cover with the remaining pastry sheets, brushing in between each layer with butter. Trim off any excess pastry and brush the top with any remaining butter.
Bake for 35-40 mins until crisp and golden. Serve warm or cold sprinkled with pine nuts.
Top tip for making Spanakopita
Feta cheese is quite salty so you won't need to add much salt, if any, to the filling.