Impanate (Sicilian pasties)
This dish is so flavoursome. The mix of pastry with vegetables and other ingredients really hits the spot. You can fill your pasties with whatever you like, but this is the traditional filling our family uses.
For the pastry:
• 2 cups self-raising flour
• 1 cup plain flour
• 2 tsp salt
• ½ cup sunflower (or vegetable) oil
• 200 ml hot water (or more as needed)
• Olive oil, as needed (if pastry is too hard)
For the filling:
• Olive oil
• Garlic, to taste
• Broccoli, steamed
• Pitted black olives
• Grated parmesan
• Italian sausage, cooked and crumbled (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 230°C and heat trays (thin aluminium trays are the best).
2. To make the filling, heat oil in a frypan and sauté the garlic. Add the broccoli and season with salt. Cook, stirring until softened. Add the olives, cheese and sausage. Set aside to cool.
3. Make the dough: with the flour, form a mound on a flat surface and make a well (I use a big plastic cooking/kneading bucket).
4. Add salt and pour vegetable oil slowly into the well. Simultaneously start adding flour from the sides of the well, adding a little water as you go.
5. Continue adding flour to the paste as it’s forming, slowing adding water. As you’re working the flour, it may seem quite floury and hard at first. Keep mixing and kneading with your fingers, picking up the last crumbly bits as you go.
6. Once it’s basically amalgamated, if you still feel you need to add more water, spread out the dough before adding more.
7. Continue to knead the dough lightly (you may feel you need to repeat this process 2-4 times). The dough is ready when it’s soft, smooth and malleable. The amount of water you ultimately use will depend on your flours and other atmospheric conditions – i.e. humidity in the air etc.
8. Shape the dough into a log shape. Cut into 4 (or more) balls.
9. Knead each little ball separately and pummel with your fingers until they are smooth buns.
10. To make the pasties, roll out the bun dough very thinly. For a large pasty, use a 22 cm diameter plate to cut out the shape (or use whatever other size you wish for smaller pasties).
11. Add scoops of the filling to the centre of each pasty.
12. Fold the dough over the filling to make a half-moon shape and pinch the ends to close it.
13. Poke the top of the pasties with a fork a few times.
14. Bake for 15-30 minutes or until golden brown.