The salad bowls are firmly away for the winter now. Out come the pots for stew and pans for roasting and baking, as we turn on our antique night storage heaters and dig out blankets to sit on the backs of the sofas. As it’s dark outside as I start to make dinner, I feel like comfort food. Coming across a packet of pastry and some stray vegetables is all I need.
Using some using bits of peppers, courgette, aubergine and half a tin of chickpeas, I thought I’d make some pasties. I served the big beauties with crispy rosemary and sea salt potato wedges.
You could use any vegetables you like in this recipe, just incorporate them with the creamy sauce and pack into pastry. I’ve used ready-made puff (many brands are vegan), but you could use filo or shortcrust instead.
Creamy Mediterranean Pasties with Chickpeas
Makes 2 large pasties, or 4 when cut in two
Preparation/cooking time 40 mins.
2 tbsp olive oil
½ small aubergine, chopped into small pieces
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ red pepper, chopped into small pieces
½ yellow pepper, chopped into small pieces
½ courgette, chopped into small pieces
10 small plum tomatoes, chopped in half
½ tin chickpeas, drained
½ tsp dried basil
Pinch of dried rosemary
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp cornflour, mixed with 2 tbsp water
100ml/3.5 fl oz soya milk
1 packet puff pastry sheet, like Jus Roll
1. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan and add in the aubergine and garlic. Fry on a medium heat, until the aubergine starts to soften and brown. Add a little more oil to help the process, or a tbsp of water to keep everything moist.
2. After five mins, add in the rest of the vegetables and fry for a further 5-6 mins, so all of the veg is soft, but not sloppy.
3. Add in the chickpeas and seasoning.
4. Put the cornflour into a small bowl and mix to a smooth paste with the water.
5. Add this to the vegetables, then gradually stir in the soya milk. Keep it on a low heat, mixing until the soya milk thickens around the vegetables forming a creamy sauce. Add a little more milk if needed.
6. Take the vegetables off the heat and set aside while you prepare the pastry.
7. Pre heat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6.
8. Grease a large baking tray. Lay the pastry sheet on a chopping board and cut it in half into two rectangles.
9. Equally fill half of each rectangle with vegetables, in the centre only, so you leave a good inch around the edges to form the edges of the pasty which are pinched together.
10. Fold the empty pastry of each rectangle over the filling, then pinch together the sides and bring in the corners, to form two large pasties.
11. Gently transfer the pasties onto the baking tray and slash the tops with a knife a few times. Brush with soya milk to glaze.
12. Bake for 20 mins, until risen and golden. Enjoy hot or cold, with chips or potato wedges.