I had never had Baklava before making this, but seduced by the name...(it so just rolls off the tongue... Baklavvvvvaaaaa) I did a little research.
Baklava is a Middle Eastern dish that is normally sweet, its a mixture of honey and nuts sandwiched between layers of filo pastry and then baked in a oven. The result is a gloriously sweet, nutty experience!
However, there are also savoury recipes, that can be with or without meat. This Baklava recipe is a savoury combination of ricotta cheese, pine nuts, spinach, Pancetta and Parmesan cheese between those lovely layers of filo pastry. Although it contains what could be quite a heavy cheese / pastry combination, it isnt. The cheese being a combination of Ricotta and Parmesan goes a long way and the filo pastry is super light. The result is a gorgeous cheesy, nutty, crispy taste and texture that really delights and combines really well with that healthy spinach. Its a great well to eat some more vegetables!
There is a great deal of variety with this dish, differ the meat you use - try lamb, chicken, or maybe different vegetables - I had a glut of cherry tomatoes and added a lot of them just on the top layer of spinach and before the top layer of filo pastry.
Before cooking I sprayed the top layer of filo pastry with a light oil spray and the result is a crispy top layer which crowned the rest of the dish.
Frying Pine Nuts
Added Spinach, Pancetta, Onion, Garlic
Layer of Spinach and topped with Tomatoes
Baked and Eaten!
- 35g Pine Nuts
- 1tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
- 100g Frozen Spinach
- 2 Tomatoes, finely chopped
- 75g Ricotta Cheese
- 20g Parmesan
- 4sheets Filo Pastry
- Sprays Spray Light
- 6 Cherry Tomatoes
- 200g Pancetta
- Preheat oven to 190c. Place pine nuts in dry frying pan until they start to brown. Set aside.
- Add Olive Oil to saucepan and onion, garlic and pancetta, cook on a low heat for 10 minutes
- Add Spinach and Tomatoes. Cook for further 6 minutes. Tip into bowl and allow to cool slightly
- Add Ricotta, Pine Nuts, Parmesan and season to taste.
- Spray shallow dish to lightly oil and line dish with layer of overlapping filo pastry. Add layer of Spinach mixture, then another layer of Filo followed by further Spinach layer. Add in any additions on top such as extra tomatoes and tuck excess pastry from sides over top. Spray top with light oil.
- Bake for 25 minutes until golden and crispy. Serve and Enjoy