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Italian Courgette and Ham Pie

ingredients

serves 6
900 g (2 lb) courgettes
30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
25 g (1 oz) butter
1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
100 g (4 oz) freshly grated Gruyere cheese
75 g (3 oz) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 thin slices cooked ham, cut into strips
2 eggs, beaten
450 g (1 lb) made-weight puff pastry, defrosted if frozen
flour for dusting
butter for greasing
1 egg yolk

method

1. Wipe the courgettes with a damp cloth. Trim them and slice in half lengthways. Cut each halved courgette into 5 mm (1/4 in) slices.

2. in a heavy-based saucepan, heat the olive oil andl butter. When the foaming subsides, add the finely chopped onion and cook over a moderate heat for 7—10 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add the prepared courgettes, stir and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook over a moderate heat for 10-15 minutes, or until just tender, stirring occasionally.

3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the freshly grated Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses and the ham strips. Leave the mixture to cool slightly before stirring in the beaten eggs. Correct the seasoning and leave to cool.

4. Heat the oven to 375°F (190°C) gas5.

5. Roll out two-thirds of the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use it to line a greased 25 cm /10 in loose-bottomed fluted flan tin. Reserve the trimmings. Place it on a baking tray and fill it with the cooled courgette and ham mixture.

6. Roll out the remaining pastry to fit the top of the pie. Brush the edges with egg yolk, cover the pie and press down the edges lightly to seal. Flute the edges attractively. Make decorations with the pastry trimmings and stick to the pie with a little water. Using a pastry brush, lightly glaze the surface with the remaining egg yolk.

7. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Remove the pie from the tin and serve immediately.

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