I was delighted when I discovered this recipe; two of my favourite dishes, pizza and pie, combined! Originally from the Campania region of Italy, this pie was eaten during the Christmas period. The main ingredient for the filling is a green called escarole, a member of the endive family but less bitter in flavour. Try to get hold of some if you can, otherwise you can use chicory and kale as I have done here. You can also use chard and spinach.
- For the pastry:
- 350g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 7g instant yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 medium egg
- 75g softened unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 125-150 ml warm full-fat milk
- For the filling:
- 2 heads of chicory
- 150g kale
- 50ml olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 5 salted anchovy fillets
- 75g pitted olives, rinsed and roughly chopped
- 30g capers, rinsed
- 200g provolone cheese or other sweet, fruity cheese like Ossau-Iraty, Emmental or Gruyère, grated
- 10-12 fresh basil leaves, torn
- freshly ground black pepper and a little salt
- 1 beaten egg, to glaze
- 20cm loose bottom tart tin
1. Place the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast to one side and the salt to the other. Add the egg, butter and three quarters of the warm milk. Use your hand to bring all the ingredients together. Gradually add the remaining milk to form the dough. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 to 10 minutes until the dough is smooth. Place into a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove for about an hour.
2. To make the filling, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Wash and trim the chicory, then slice. Wash the kale, remove any stalks and tear into small pieces. Cook the chicory and kale in the water for 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly and then pat dry with kitchen paper.
3. In a wide sauté pan, heat the oil and add the garlic and anchovies. Over a medium heat cook until the anchovy breaks down and the garlic has softened. Use a slotted spoon and remove the garlic and anchovies from the pan. Cook the chicory and kale in the remaining oil, which will be flavoured with the garlic and anchovies. Cook over a high heat until all the moisture has evaporated. Add the olives and capers and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and return the anchovy and capers to the pan. Give the filling a good stir and check the seasoning. Be careful with the salt as the anchovies and capers are salty. Add lots of black pepper. Leave to go cold, then fold in the grated cheese and torn basil leaves.
4. Preheat your oven to 180°C/Gas 4 and grease a 20cm loose bottom tart tin.
5. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut off a third of the dough to use as a lid. Roll the big piece of dough into a large circle 5mm thick. Line the prepared tin with the dough and trim the edge to neaten. Tip the filling into the lined tin and press down to level the surface.
6. Roll the remaining pastry into a lid, brush the edge of the pastry in the tin with egg wash, then place the lid on top of the filling. It will sit just below the top of the tin. Fold down the sides of the pie onto the lid and pinch the edges together to seal. Roll out any offcuts to make decorations and stick on the lid with the egg wash. Make a small slit in the top to let any steam escape while cooking. Glaze the top of the pie with egg wash and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the dough is cooked and golden brown.
7. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before removing. Eat warm or cold.