Spanakopita recipe

1 kilogram of spinach
2 thinly sliced leeks
1 finely chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, cut 50ml olive oil, with more for drizzling
400g crumbled feta
Ricotta 260g
80g grated pecorino romano (or vegetarian substitute)
1 fresh dill small bunch 1 fresh parsley small bunch
Optional: a pinch of chili flakes
3 beaten giant free-range eggs
3 thinly chopped spring onions
1 lemon, finely grated zest
A couple of nutmeg gratings
6-8 sheets of good-quality filo (270g pack)
Toppings: sea salt and black sesame seeds

Bring the kettle to a boil, then heat a big, deep frying pan over high heat. Pour in a dash of boiling water, add as much spinach as possible, and cook until wilted, stirring with tongs. Repeat with the remainder and another splash of water in a colander in the sink.

Once the spinach is in the colander, push out as much water as possible with a plate. Remove the spinach and place it in a single layer on kitchen paper. Press down with additional kitchen paper. Allow to dry while continuing with the preparation (see tip).

Meanwhile, in a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil, soften the leeks, onion, and garlic for 12 minutes over low-medium heat. Place on a plate and set aside to cool.

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the cheeses, herbs, chili flakes (if used), eggs, spring onions, zest, nutmeg, and onion. Give the spinach one last squeeze before chopping and adding it to the bowl. Season to taste. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cover the filo pastry with a slightly damp tea towel after unrolling it in a clean work area. Fill a pastry brush with 50ml olive oil and lightly brush the 30cm loose-bottomed tart/cake tin with oil. Lay one sheet of filo lengthways so its center is on the edge of the container, with half the sheet in the tin and half overhanging.

Brush the filo sheet lightly with oil, then put another sheet next to it, slightly overlapping the first but extending a little further around the tin, overhanging once more. Apply oil to the brush. Continue with the remaining 6 filo sheets, brushing lightly with oil as you go, until the pan is completely lined.

Filling spooned in, fold over the hanging filo sheets in reverse order, dusting the tops lightly with oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and black sesame seeds. Bake for 35-40 minutes until crisp, covering with foil if it’s browning too much. Allow to cool slightly before serving warm or at room temperature.