In the ancient tradition of recipes that are passed on by word of mouth - the ones we hold in our heads and hearts - there is always the danger that something will get missed, forgotten, or simply lost in translation. These pies are traditionally found in the Lazio region of Italy in the run up to Easter - my mother-in-law made them faithfully every year and as delicious as they were, her method was vague to say the least. We have been (trying) to make these delicious pies ever since (terrifying to admit it, but that's more than 30 years). We have tried every kind of pastry - short, hot water, filo and even puff and none was successful. Even the filling was tricky as the temptation to use more egg to loosen the mix is hard to resist.
However, after years of experimentation and finally, consultation with my husband's cousin, we have found the gold standard and they were (almost) worth the wait - it turns out that the all-elusive pastry is simply fresh pasta dough with the enrichment of a bit of EVO oil and nice white wine.
this is actually a fresh pasta mix with added oil and wine to loosen the mix
Heat oven to 180 degrees C, 350 degrees F or Gas Mark 4
In a medium sized bowl, sift flour. Make a well in the flour, add the slightly beaten egg, oil & wine and mix. Mixture should form a stiff dough. If needed, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons water.
On a lightly floured surface, knead dough for about 3 to 4 minutes. With a pasta machine roll dough out to desired thickness of number 4, then cut using a large round cutter, then put through the machine at Number 2.
Hang and semi-dry the pastry.
Whisk all ingredients together - it will be very thick, but after cooking it will soften and melt a bit.
Working quickly, place rounded teaspoonfuls of filling in the centre of the pasta circle. Brush around filling with water to moisten. Fold circle over; press down to seal.
Place on a baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes
Cover with a milk glaze when they come out of the oven and are still hot
Serve with a glass of your favourite red wine