Thursday, 25 June 2015

Simply Pugliese

Rustici Leccesi
Leccese Puff-Pastries with a Béchamel, Mozzarella & Tomato Sauce Filling

 incredibly simple pastries are one of the most traditional snack foods in Lecce, down in the Deep South, in the "heel" of Italy... And they are sooo delicious!

And before you start getting all worked-up and throwing a hissy fit, no, I am not going to give you recipes for making tomato sauce, béchamel or puff-pastry for that matter!

Puff-pastry- you buy! And those sauces... You really should know how to make basics like that by now! On the other hand, if you don't know how and you do need a recipe, trust me... The interwebs have about a million and one of them and you do not need another rendition of the same thing from me!

Do you all still love me after that? I hope so! Look, I had a rough day today, ok?

Ok, if a professional pastry chef had made these, they would have been a whole lot prettier! The main reason these are not as perfect looking as they could be is that I simply had that little bit too much filling in them and because it seeped out during baking... So remember, even when you are making something as simple as this, with so few ingredients... Even then- LESS IS MORE!

And speaking of "less", can you imagine needing less than this thes small amount of basic ingredients that you can see here, to make the filling for those 4 little pies? Well you had better!

Basically, you will need 1 teaspoon each of béchamel and tomato sauce for each pastry and less than 1/4 of a ball of mozzarella. It's as simple as that!

So yes, indeed, this is an excellent little dish to make from left-over sauces on the day after... Which happens often enough! Knowing you only need such a small amount of them should give you even more good reason to never let them go to waste!


These snacks are well loved and enjoyed at breakfast time through the the region of Puglia, but they would make great party snacks too, for the likes of you and I!

But whenever we choose to eat them, we are always going to enjoy them... Because the rich béchamel and tangy tomato sauce make the mild mozzarella come alive in the very best way... You'll like them!


Simply cut out circles of pastry- use a cutter or cut around a small saucer- any size you prefer, but usually they are somewhere between 4-6" in diameter.


Simply add a teaspoon of béchamel to each base...

...then a little chopped mozzarella- and remember, the amount you can see here ended up being a bit too much, so try to do the "less is more" thing.  


And finally, a teaspoon of sauce on top... This is very simple... As usual whenever I make anything, lol!


Next, simply pop the lids carefully on top and press down around the filling, then press the two layers together with your finger all the way around to seal them shut.


Brush with a little egg wash and then bake in a hot oven, at 200 C for 20-25 minutes until they are puffed up and golden brown.


Something a little bit like this!


I wish mine had turned out a little bit prettier... Then they might be a little bit more convincing for all of good people out there... But still... I think you will take my word for it!


I am going to say that its the simplicity of these things that gives them their beauty... But that's mainly because they didn't turn out to be as pretty as I would have liked! Haha!

But seriously... The bottom line is that this is food and it is what it tastes like that matters the most!

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