Spicy Tomato and Lentil Layer Pie

This really tasty vegetarian recipe from The Higgidy Cookbook, can hold its own as a main dish, with layers of aubergine, tomatoey lentils and creamy ricotta cheese all wrapped in a pastry crust. Don’t worry about leftovers; this pie is delicious served cold the following day.

  • Serves 8


For the walnutty pastry:

  • 400g plain flour, plus a little for dusting
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 100g walnuts 60g
  • Italian hard cheese, grated
  • 100g butter, chilled and diced
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten , plus a beaten egg for brushing
  • 3 tbsp ice-cold water

For the filling:

  • ½ quantity (about 450g) Spiced Tomato Sauce
  • 250g Puy lentils (we like the Merchant Gourmet pouches), cooked and drained
  • 1 large aubergine
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • 200g ricotta cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Spiced Tomato Sauce (makes 600ml):

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 red onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar