I’ve tried to concoct a savoury vegetarian pasty but disappointed that it’s never tasty enough. Does chef have any tips on a filling?

Harriet Smithson


The ideal filling shouldn't be too wet, it should have a good colour and it should be flavoursome. I do like a bit of spicy food, so seek out a spice called 'ras al hanout,' a North African spice. Ras has no definitive recipes as spice shops generally blended their own mixes, although purists claim it must contain exactly 12 spices. Cook some green lentils in boiling salted water until tender, drain and reserve. Peel and dice 3 large waxy potatoes, peel and finely shred 2 red onions. In a large frying pan, sauté the onions and potatoes with 2 cloves of crushed garlic and 25ml olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over a low heat for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes start to soften. Add a good sprinkle of ras al hanout, then add the cooked lentils and a decent amount of freshly chopped coriander. Cook for further 5-10 minutes, then allow to chill before making into your pasties. Adding the spice mix and the fresh coriander will give your filling a little bit of heat but also great flavour.