Ham, cheese and potato pie

Want to try this easy ham and potato pie recipe? You need only a few ingredients and about an hour. You can serve it as is or add a green salad for a more complete meal.

prep time 15 min     cook time 5 min + 50 min
  • 370g ready rolled puff pastry
  • 100g ham, diced
  • 3+1 medium size potatoes
  • 200g mozzarella (or provola), diced
  • sprig of rosemary
  • salt and pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C

2. Peel and dice 3 potatoes. Fry them with a sprig of rosemary in a pan with a little bit of oil for about 5-6 min. Season with just a dash of salt. Don’t worry if the potatoes are not cooked through, they will cook in the oven.

3. Unroll the puff pastry with its baking parchment onto a baking tray. A spring pan will work too. Layer the potatoes, then ham and mozzarella.

4. Slice the last potato into thin slices with a mandolin or a knife. Layer the slices  on top of the pie slightly overlapping them. Sprinkle some salt and pepper, a few fresh rosemary needles and a little bit of oil on top.

5. Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden.


Savoury muffins

Make a batch of savoury muffins for a snack or an appetiser. They are also great for a light lunch or dinner with a bowl of salad. They are easy to make and you can use a plethora of vegetables and cheese or a combination of these.

prep time 10 min     cook time 25 min
ingredients for 12 muffins
  • 125 g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • dash of salt
  • 200 g plain yogurt ( or ricotta)
  • 150 g flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 50 g sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 spring onion or a small onion
  • 100 g feta (or blue cheese)
  • 1 Tbls fresh thyme
  • 75 g grated cheese

1. Pre-heat oven at 200C and grease a muffin tin.

2. Melt the butter and let cool. Beat the eggs, salt and the yogurt lightly into the butter.

3. Mix the flour and baking powder and then add this to the batter with a spoon just until combined. Do not beat.

4. Drip the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes and mince them. Dice also the onion, crumble the feta and add all this to the batter.

5. Add the thyme (you can also use dried thyme) and half of the grated cheese.

6. Fill the muffin tin and add the remaining cheese.

7. Bake at 200C for 15-20 min until the muffins have a nice golden crust. Serve lightly cooled.

Tip: try chives, celery, carrots, zucchini, bell peppers, leek,  button mushrooms, baby spinach ( I had a few zucchini flowers that I tossed into the mix), different kinds of cheese, bacon, sausage or ham, fresh (or dried) herbs like oregano, basil, lemon thyme, marjoram.

Tip: these freeze well.


Ricotta rustic pie

Spinach ricotta rustic pie makes a yummy light dinner or a fantastic appetiser.  If you are looking for something light and meatless, this pie is perfect.

prep time 10 min     cook time 30-40 min
  • 1 pre-made puff pastry
  • 300g spinach, cooked to wilt
  • 1 Tbls olive oil
  • 250g ricotta
  • 60g Parmigiano, grated
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 yolk + a dash of milk

1. Preheat oven to 180 C

2. Roll out the pastry dough and place it in a lightly greased round pan.

3. Cook the spinach in oil for 10 min to wilt. Add some salt. Then drain well.

4. Mix in a bowl ricotta and Parmigiano and add the well drained spinach, a dash of salt and some pepper.

5. Place the filling onto the pie crust and brush the dough with a beaten yolk and milk mixture.

6. Bake in a 180 C oven for 30-40 min until the crust is golden.


Zucchini pie

To make savoury pies you can use puff pastry or traditional pie dough, either home made or store bought. Today I paired zucchini with speck, but you can use a plethora of ingredients.

prep time 10 min     cook time 35-45 min
  • 350g puff pastry
  • 500g zucchini, sliced or rounds
  • 100g speck (pancetta or bacon is fine), diced or in strips
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 ml milk (or heavy cream)
  • 30 grated Parmigiano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1.  Preheat the oven to 180 C.

2.  Cook the zucchini in a pan with the oil for 5-6 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the speck.

3. Mix the eggs vigorously, add the milk and cheese and a dash of salt and pepper.

4. Roll out the puff pastry into a baking dish, previously covered with parchment paper, prick it with the prongs of a fork and add the zucchini filling.

5. Pour the egg mix on top and place in the oven until golden.

6. Check the time on your oven. Mine always requires more time than the recipes suggest.

Tip: you can replace the egg and milk mixture with 250g of ricotta.


Sunflower spinach pie

This spinach pie has a very scenographic presence and looks complicated to make but I assure you it is not. Especially if you use store bought puff pastry. Sometimes you are allowed to cut corners. 😛

prep time 15 min     cook time 45-55 min
  • 2 round sheets of puff pastry
  • 400g baby spinach
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 300g ricotta cheese
  • 50g grated cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • sesame seeds
  • 1 yolk + 2 Tbsp milk

1. Preheat the oven to 190C.

2. ​Begin by preparing the spinach filling. Heat olive oil in a large pan and cook the spinach for a few minutes until it is wilted. Add salt and pepper.

3. In a large bowl, combine the spinach, ricotta and grated cheese. Mix well until all of the ingredients are well incorporated.Taste and check for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if needed.

4. Place one puff pastry sheet in the middle of a large baking pan lined with parchment paper.

5. ​Place 2 scoops of the spinach filling in the center of the circle.

6. Create a ring with the remaining spinach filling leaving about 3cm border all around the puff pastry. Do not allow the ring to connect with the filling in the center.

7. Place the other puff pastry circle on top and seal the edges by pressing down with the tines of a fork.

10. ​Place a small bowl over the center filling and press down to create an indentation.

11. Cut 4 slits around the pastry leaving the centre circle intact. Cut more slits for a total of 16 petals. Brush the pie with the egg mixture. Pierce with the tines of a fork at the centre and on the petals to allow the steam to release during baking.

11. Twist each petal (the slices) so that the filling side faces up. Take care to not separate the slices from the center. They look a little wonky but they’ll adjust in the oven 🙂

12. ​Sprinkle sesame seeds over center and bake 45-50 minutes or until the pastry is puffy and golden all around.