Sailor’s Hearty Pasta Pie


Sailor’s Hearty Pasta Pie
Servings: 10


3 cups (450g) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
200g butter
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 cup ice-cold water (or less)
1 egg, to glaze

1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 slices bacon
300g minced beef or pork
300g beef schnitzel, cut into thin strips
400g tomato puree or sugo (bottled Italian sauce, available in organic or specialty foods stores)
Salt and pepper freshly ground black pepper
250g dried pennine pasta (or macaroni)

2 tablespoons (30g) butter
2 tablespoons (30g) flour
300ml milk
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Recipe by: Lauraine Jacobs
Publication: The Confident Cook (Jan 2006)
Recipe ID: 100329


When New Zealand hosted the America’s world cup, there were seemingly endless days out on the water, requiring endless picnic fare. We decided to do a picnic feature for Cuisine and I needed an unusual and substantial pie. I was inspired by Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s recipe for a tortellini pie, traditionally served at festive occasions in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. My version is simpler, and in adapting it for antipodean palates I omitted the sugar that flavoured the original pastry and the ‘custard sauce’ that seemed to me too sweet and rich. A slice of this is very filling.



As there are several steps to making this pie, it is probably a good idea to prepare each of the components ahead of time and then assemble and cook the pie on the day it is to be eaten.

To make the pastry, place the flour, baking powder and salt in a food processor, and process in about 10 short bursts to sift them together. Cut the butter into small cubes, add to the flour and process until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. With the motor running, add vinegar, then the water in a steady stream, taking care not to over-process. (You may not need all the water, so when the pastry starts to draw together, stop the machine immediately.)

Form the pastry into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. This can be done a day ahead.

To make the ragu, dice the onion and chop the garlic finely. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and garlic and cook very gently until the onion is golden. Cut the bacon into small strips, then add the beef schnitzel and continue cooking for another two minutes. Add the tomato puree or sugo, bring to a simmer and cook gently for about an hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta until it is al dente, following the instructions on the packet. Drain well while still warm, add the ragu and set aside.

Make the cheese sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan, adding the flour and then milk. The flour will thicken the sauce, so stir the mixture continuously over the heat until it comes to a boil, remove from the heat, add the grated parmesan cheese and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

To assemble the pie, roll out just over half the pastry to line a 24cm springform tin, making sure 3cm extra pastry hangs over the edges of the tin. Pile the pasta and ragu mixture into the pastry case, and tip the cheese sauce over the filling.

Preheat the oven to 190?C. Roll out the other half of the pastry and place on top. Draw the pastry from the bottom over the top and fold over onto the top of the pie. Crimp the edges together. Beat the egg well and brush the pastry top to glaze it.

Decorate with the pastry trimmings. Cook for 80 to 90 minutes until the pastry is a golden colour. Leave to stand for at least half an hour before cutting into wedges.

Serves 10 to 12.




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