River Cottage

Spinach and thyme pasties recipe

These savoury parcels are ideal for picnics and make a super lunchbox filler

Hugh: "These tasty little parcels are very good still warm from the oven, but let them cool down and
they’ll pack a real punch for a picnic, a party or a lunchbox. If using ricotta, it’s a good idea to add in the Parmesan, but if you’re using a fairly strong goat’s cheese you won’t need it."

Makes 6


For the pastry

  • 500g plain flour
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 150ml milk
  • Pinch of salt

For the filling

  • 500g spinach, thoroughly washed and tough stalks removed
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 200g goat's curd
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Few gratings nutmeg
  • 2 tsp lemon thyme
  • 1 egg, plus an extra beaten egg for brushing
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt together, or give them a quick blitz in a food processor. Add the butter and rub in with your fingertips, or blitz in the food processor, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix in the cold milk, little by little, until the pastry just comes together, then turn out on to a work surface and knead briefly to bring it into a ball. Wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment or a non-stick liner.

  3. For the filling, wash the spinach thoroughly, then pack it, with just the water that clings to it, into a saucepan. Cover and put over a medium heat until the spinach has wilted in its own steam. Drain in a colander. When the spinach is cool enough to handle, squeeze out as much moisture as you possibly can with your hands, then chop roughly.

  4. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and sweat the onion and garlic for about 10 minutes, until soft and translucent. Stir in the chopped spinach and leave to cool.

  5. Tip the spinach mix into a bowl and add goat's curd, lemon zest, nutmeg, lemon thyme, egg and plenty of salt and pepper. Mash together thoroughly.

  6. Roll out the pastry to a rectangle. Trim the edges and cut 8 squares of approximately 13 x 13cm. Put a spoon of the filling in the corner of a square of pastry and spread out to form a triangle, maintaining a border of about 1cm. Fold the pastry over the filling, to cover the filling but not to the edge. Brush the border with egg wash and fold the exposed border back over to seal further, pressing down to ensure the pasty is well sealed. Trim the corners if the pastry is excessive. Brush with more beaten egg then cut a hole in the top of each one with a small, sharp knife.

  7. Transfer the paties to the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 25–30 minutes or until golden brown. Eat warm or cold.

River Cottage Veg

Recipe from River Cottage Veg Every Day

Images © Simon Wheeler

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River Cottage

Last Broadcast: Saturday 19 January 3.40PM

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