I heart... for a crowd!

I really like cooking with a crowd in mind, all queueing, plates in hand, eyes eating the goodies before they've even picked up a paper plate.  Ciara and Jays annual solstice is a great opportunity to cook for a crowd, and I have a stack of easy quick big bowl salads or cold dishes to set down beside the rows and rows of colourful global cuisine that inevitably ends up there!

But this year I decided to be a bit more thoughtful, and make a pie, a main to be surrounded by salads, a staple.

The party has been put off to next week, so unfortunately we had to eat the pie between just a few of us... it was a dirty job but somebody had to do it!

I made my mothers applause inducing cheese pie, but with Ciara and Jay being vegetarians replaced the usual ham with spinach.  This made the pie a little wetter than usual but it was still absolutely scrummy!

Italian Cheese Pie
You'll need

400g ricotta
400g grated cheddar cheese
400g parmesan
400g cottage cheese
4 sheets shortcrust pastry (buy it!)
1 egg, beaten
1 sachet/2 tsp dried italian herb mix
handful of ham or spinach
handful pine nuts.

Grease and line a large springform tin (about 23cms).  Measure and cut out a pastry bottom and place in the tin, brush with milk and place cut out rectangles around the sides of the tin, overlapping onto the bottom. The pastry should be left coming over the sides of the tin and brushed with milk, then set to one side.  In a bowl mix the cheeses together with the egg and the herbs, season.  

Place half the mix into the pie and top with spinach leaves or ham and the pine nuts. 

 Place the rest of the mix on top.  

Place a double layer of pastry on the top of the pie and with a fork or fingers press down to stick to the sides which have been brushed with milk. Prick the top and decorate. Bake for about 45 minutes at 190c until golden brown. Allow cool before slicing.


Jessie Cacciola said...

thanks for stopping by my blog. yours is great, and i think i might have to try this recipe. :)
- Jessie - xo

Ciara said...

I can vouch for this pie being one of the most addictive I've ever eaten... You know, like when you actually don't care if everyone thinks you are a greedy so-and-so when you creep back for more, again.