For those of you who don’t know I became a Vegetarian earlier this year, I just was fed up with meat and wanted a change, with that came trying to figure out how to make my favorite meals meatless. I love Pastilla but it is made with chicken or sometimes beef, and that isn’t exactly what a Vegetarian eats, so I came up with this last week. It still has the same consistency as a meat dish but is totally meat free!
1 Rutabaga, peeled and grated
1 Large sweet onion, thinly sliced
4 carrots, peeled and grated
1 cup vegetable stock
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
Salt and Pepper
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup ground almonds, if you have sliced or whole almonds you can pop those in a coffee grinder and make them into ground almonds
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and diced
4 Tablespoons butter, melted
10 sheets of Filo Pastry
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a large high sided skillet, once hot add 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil, when oil is shimmering add the onions and saute for 2 minutes, add the grated carrots and rutabaga and cook for about 8-10 minutes until soft.
Add a dash of salt and pepper, stir in the sugar (If you don’t like things too sweet, only use a 1/4 teaspoon of sugar or omit completely) and the vegetable stock, cook for an additional 2 minutes until reduced by half. Take off the heat and stir in the eggs, mix quickly so they don’t go lumpy, once mixed well stir in the almonds and the cinnamon. Return to heat for 30 seconds then remove and pour into a bowl to cool. If you don’t want too many dishes you can just leave the mixture in the pan on a cold burner to cool down.
Brush a 9 inch cake pan with melted butter, enough to coat the entire inside of the pan including the sides, you will not use all the butter at this point.
Place a sheet of filo in the pan, making sure that you have half the sheet overhanging the side of the pan, brush with butter, rotate the pan 90 degrees and place another piece of filo in pan, brush with butter, continue until you have 4 pieces of filo covering the entire pan with the edges hanging over. Take half the mixture and pour into the filo lined pan, even out the filling until nice and flat. Place a sheet of filo on top of the filling and repeat the same process as above, turning 90 degrees, brushing with butter until you have another 4 sheets of filo for a total of 8.
Take the remaining mixture and pour on top of the filo, place 2 additional sheets of filo on top of the mixture,push down gently with your hands and brush with more butter and then fold the over hanging filo onto the top of the mixture, brushing with more butter.
Place in oven for 15 minutes until browned, make sure you check that it’s not burning, sometimes it only takes 10-12 mins. Now comes the tricky part. Remove the Pastilla from the oven. Pop a plate over the Pastilla, using a kitchen towel, hold the plate against the pan and flip it over, remove the pan…. The bottom of the Pastilla is now the top and on a plate….
Place the Pastilla on a parchment lined baking tray, I normally just slide the Pastilla off the plate slowly and put back in the over for an additional 10 minutes until golden.
When the pie comes out of the oven, let cool for about 15 minutes before cutting, as the pie cools the firmer it gets and it won’t fall apart when you slice it. I like the sweetness of the Pastilla but I don’t like adding the traditional powdered sugar or cinnamon to the top, but if you like go right ahead and powder away!!
Notes : While you are layering the filo you may tear it, it’s fine!! Just touch up with some butter and if there is a whole use a little piece of filo to patch the wholes.