8. All kinds of Pies and Pizza recipes

Cornish pies

For the pastry

250 g butter
300 ml hot water
500 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 large free-range egg, beaten
1 handful medium ground cornmeal or polenta

For the filling

1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
olive oil
4 skinless, boneless higher-welfare chicken thighs, cut into 2cm dice
½ small butternut squash, (approximately 250g) peeled and cut into 1cm chunks
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium potato, peeled and cut into 1cm chunks
6 sprigs fresh sage or thyme, leaves picked and chopped
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
300 ml organic chicken stock
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon plain flour


Marcy Tatarka, an absolutely lovely cook I met in Wyoming, was full of all sorts of local food knowledge. She told me that people in this part of America are really into their pasties! Turns out that in the 1920s and 30s, miners from Cornwall came over to work in Montana and it wasn't long before the locals developed a taste for the good old Cornish pasty. Their recipes haven't evolved radically since, but they do embrace local ingredients like chicken, squash and sage. Pastry isn't exactly health food, but a delicious pasty once in a while won't hurt you. If you like, you can make a slightly 'skinnier' pasty by reducing the butter to 200g and adding 50ml of olive oil. But frankly, if I'm making these I just go for it old-school style.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Bring your butter and water to the boil in a large pan, then take the pan off the heat. Stir the flour and salt into the mixture bit by bit with a spatula, until you've got a dough. Tip it on to a floured surface and use your hands to shape it into a smooth ball. Put the ball of dough into a floured bowl, dust the top with flour, then cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes while you make the filling.

Meanwhile, get a large pan and fry your chopped onion in a lug of olive oil for 10 minutes or until softened. Add the diced chicken and fry for 5 minutes until brown, then add the rest of the chopped vegetables and herbs. Fry for another 5 minutes, then add 3 or 4 good gratings of nutmeg. Season well with salt and pepper, then pour in the chicken stock and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in the flour and simmer on a medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until most of the stock has cooked away and you're left with nice thick gravy.

Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with flour, then divide your pastry dough in half and roll each half out until it's slightly thinner than 0.5cm. Use a cereal bowl (about 15cm in diameter) to cut 4 circles out of each half, so you end up with 8 circles. You may need to cut out 2 or 3 circles from each half first, then re-roll the remaining pastry to make the rest. Dust the circles with flour, and spoon your filling into the middle of each one. Brush the edges of the pastry with some of the beaten egg, then fold each circle in half over the filling and crimp the edges with your finger and thumb to seal them. If you want to see how this is done, check out this video on how to assemble a pasty.

Line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper, scatter a handful of cornmeal or polenta over the paper, and place your pasties on top. Brush the pasties all over with more of the beaten egg and sprinkle over a little more cornmeal. Bake in the hot oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden, and serve straight away with a fresh green salad. A taste of Cornwall in the Wild West – who'd have thought it!


Mushroom & goat’s cheese pizza pie


220g pack pizza base mix
2 tsp olive oil
250g mixed mushrooms, such as chestnut, Portobello, porcini or shiitake
1 fat garlic clove, crushed
pinch chilli flakes
1 tsp rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp half-fat crème fraîche
100g goat's cheese
rocket, to serve


Make up the pizze dough following pack instructions. Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat 1 tsp oil in a large frying pan and fry the mushrooms until golden, about 8 mins. Add garlic, chilli and rosemary and cook for 1 min more. Stir in crème fraîche and 1 tbsp water and remove from heat.

Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Roll out the dough to a 30cm-diameter circle. Spread the mushroom mix across half of the circle, leaving a 2cm border from the edge, and scatter on the goat’s cheese. Fold over and press to seal.

Brush with remaining oil, transfer to a baking sheet and cook for 15-20 mins until risen and golden. Cut in halves and serve with rocket, if you like.

Tricolore pizza with basil oil


175g from a 500g pack bread mix, plus a little extra for dusting
3 tbsp olive oil
large handful basil leaf
1 avocado, halved and thinly sliced
splash lemon juice
125g ball reduced-fat mozzarella
225g mixed tomatoes, sliced and drained on kitchen paper


Heat oven to its highest setting, about 240C/fan 220C/gas 9. Tip the bread mix into a large bowl, pour over 125ml lukewarm water and 1 tbsp olive oil, then mix well to a sticky dough. Knead for a few mins, using some of the extra dry mix to stop it sticking. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for 15 mins.

While the dough is rising, put the remaining oil in a small blender with most of the basil, then whizz until the leaves are finely chopped. Toss the avocado in the lemon juice, then tear the mozzarella into rough pieces. 3 Using a little more of the dry bread mix to help you, roll and stretch the dough out to a rough 25 x 30cm rectangle on a large baking sheet. Brush over the basil oil, scatter with the mozzarella and tomato slices, then bake for 10-12 mins until the base is crisp and the cheese melted. To serve, scatter with the avocado slices and remaining basil leaves, then season with freshly ground.


Mushroom & Zucchini rice pie



2 tbsp olive oil
2 shallots or 1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
675g mixed mushrooms (such as chestnut, oyster and shiitake), sliced
2 large Zucchini, chopped
50g risotto rice
3 tbsp white wine
300ml hot vegetable stock
3 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 tbsp vegetarian parmesan -style cheese
2 tbsp crème fraîche
2 tbsp pesto
25g chopped walnuts
½ quantity shortcrust pastry (see 'Goes well with' below) made with a large pinch of saffron strands
1 tbsp milk, to glaze


Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Heat oil in a large pan and cook shallots and garlic for 2-3 mins until softened. Stir in mushrooms and Zucchini and cook over a high heat for 5-7 mins until golden.

Stir in the rice and cook for 2 mins, then add wine and cook for 3 mins until the liquid has evaporated. Add a ladleful of hot stock and cook, stirring constantly. Continue in this way until all the stock has been used up. Stir in the tarragon, cheese, crème fraîche, pesto and walnuts and plenty of seasoning. Cool.

Fill a 900ml/1½pt pie dish with the rice mixture. Brush the edge of the dish with water. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to cover the filling, trimming the edges and pressing down well to seal. Brush with milk, place on a baking sheet and bake for 20-25 mins until crisp and golden.

Ricotta & basil pizza


1 onion, finely chopped
2 yellow peppers, roughly chopped
1 tsp olive oil
2 x 400g/14oz cans chopped tomatoes
500g bag mixed grain or granary bread mix
plain flour, for dusting
10 cherry tomatoes, halved or whole
250g tub ricotta
a few basil leaves, to serve


Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 6. Soften the onion and peppers in the oil in a large pan for a few mins. Pour in the tomatoes, season, then simmer for 10 mins.

Meanwhile, make up the bread mix according to pack instructions, then bring the dough together and knead a couple of times. Flour a large baking sheet and roll out the dough into a rectangle roughly 25 x 35cm. Bake for 5 mins on a shelf at the top of the oven until firm.

Remove from the oven, spread with the sauce, add the cherry tomatoes, then dollop over spoonfuls of the ricotta. Bake for 10 mins more until the base is golden and crisp. Scatter with basil and serve straight away with a green salad.

Pepper, pesto & sweetcorn pizza pie


500g pack bread mix
100g passata
290g jar roasted red peppers, drained and roughly chopped
100g frozen sweetcorn
125g ball mozzarella, torn into pieces
50g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated
handful basil leaves, torn
50g pesto
1 egg, beaten
dressed salad leaves, to serve


Make up the bread mix to pack instructions, reserving a little of the flour for dusting, and leave to prove for 30 mins.
Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Tip the dough onto a floured surface and cut into quarters. Roll each ball of dough to a circle, roughly 20cm wide. Spread a little passata over each base, leaving a border of about 1cm around the edge. Season well.

Top with the peppers, sweetcorn, mozzarella, Parmesan, basil and blobs of pesto. Fold each base in half, to make a half-moon shape, then squeeze the edges together, rolling them a little to stick and create a seal. Cover the tray with cling film and leave for 10 mins. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/
gas 7.

Brush the calzones all over with beaten egg, then bake for 25-30 mins or until puffed and golden brown. Serve with dressed salad leaves.

Squash & sausage pot pies

1 tsp olive oil
2 red onions, chopped
175g sausage of your choice, skin removed, sliced
300g butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
400g can chickpeas
200g bag spinach
140g crème fraîche
320g puff pastry sheet
1 egg, beaten

Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onions and cook for a few mins until soft, then add the sausage of your choice . Stir around the pan for a few more mins until the chorizo leaks some of its oils, then add the squash and 100ml water. Cover with a lid and leave to cook for 10-15 mins until the squash is just cooked through.

Add the chickpeas with any liquid from the can, the spinach and some seasoning. Stir, then cover with a lid and simmer for 1-2 mins until the spinach has wilted. Stir in the crème fraîche and bubble for 3-4 mins, adding a splash of water if the sauce looks too thick.

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Divide the filling between 4 pie dishes. Unroll the pastry and cut out 4 lids, large enough to cover the pies. Brush the edge of each dish with a little beaten egg, then put a pastry lid on top and brush this with egg too. Poke a hole in the top of each pie. Bake on a tray for 25 mins until the lids are puffed and golden.

Pitta pizzas

4 wholewheat pitta breads
4 tsp sun-dried tomato purée
3 ripe plum tomatoes, diced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
85g chorizo, diced
50g mature cheddar, grated
few basil leaves, if you like

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and put a baking sheet inside to heat up. Spread each pitta with 1 tsp purée. Top with the tomatoes, shallot, chorizo and cheddar.

Place on the hot sheet and bake for 10 mins until the pittas are crisp, the cheese has melted and the chorizo has frazzled edges. Scatter with basil, if you like, and serve with a green salad.


Deep-pan pizza

For the dough:
650 ml lukewarm water
1 x 7 g sachet of dried yeast
1 tablespoon golden caster sugar
1 level tablespoon fine sea salt
1 kg strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting

For the tomato sauce:
a swig of white wine vinegar
1 clove of garlic, peeled
a handful of fresh basil leaves
1 x 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the toppings:
olive oil
3 red onions, peeled and finely sliced
a few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked
4 higher-welfare pork sausages, the best quality you can afford
1 dried red chilli
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
a good pinch of dried oregano
100 g fresh buffalo mozzarella
a handful of fresh basil leaves
2 fresh red chillies, finely sliced
2 large handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
12 slices of higher-welfare pancetta

To make your dough, pour your lukewarm water into a large bowl and use a fork to stir in the yeast, sugar and salt. Add your flour, bit by bit, until it comes together. You want smooth springy dough, so keep adding a bit more flour if necessary. Dust a clean surface with flour, then knead the dough with your hands. When you're happy with the consistency, pop it into a flour-dusted bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave in a warm room until the dough has almost doubled in size.
Meanwhile, put a lug of olive oil into a large pan on a medium heat. Add your sliced onions and thyme leaves and cook for 15 minutes, or until softened and golden. Take the pan off the heat and put aside. Put all the tomato sauce ingredients into a food processor or liquidizer with a good pinch of salt and pepper and blitz to a purée. Have a taste and season carefully, adding a bit more salt and pepper if it needs it.
Slit the sausages open and squeeze the meat into a bowl. Bash up the dried chilli and fennel seeds in a pestle and mortar, add these to the meat with the dried oregano and mix well with a fork.
Preheat your oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Divide the dough in half and oil 2 trays (about 25 x 35cm) with olive oil. Use a rolling pin or clean hands to flatten and stretch the dough out. Roll or push the dough around each tray and really push it into the corners so you get a chubby crust and a base about 1cm thick.
Divide your blitzed tomato sauce between the pizzas and spread around. Scatter over the caramelized onions and dot small pinches of the sausage mixture around the top of each pizza. Tear up the mozzarella and dot the pieces over the sausage, then sprinkle over the fresh basil leaves, sliced fresh chilli, a good pinch of salt and pepper and the grated Parmesan. Finally let your slices of pancetta sort of fall on to the pizzas so they curl and crisp up as they cook. Place in the bottom of the oven for about 20 minutes so the base gets nice and crispy while the top is cooking. Once your pizzas are beautifully cooked, serve right away with a fresh green lemony salad.

Spicy salami, courgette, basil, tomato & mozzarella pizza topping

4 tablespoons tomato sauce
6 thin slices courgette
8 fresh basil leaves
10 thin slices spicy salami
50 g mozzarella
olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Recipe for pizza dough and tomato sauce can be found here.
Smear your tomato sauce evenly over the pizza base. Lay over your courgettes and basil, then your salami – you want this to go on last so it goes crispy. Place small pieces of mozzarella in between the gaps, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook until crisp and golden.

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