Filled puff pastry is pretty common from where I am from, and my mom used to make it often for dinners or “potluck” events, especially one filled with spinach and ham. One of my favorites is the one filled with mushrooms and sausage, and that is what I planned to make yesterday, until I realized that the mushroom left in the fridge were better for compost! I was about to grab the spinach and make one with those, when I saw a cauliflower in my fridge and decided to use that instead, that is often used in Sicily as filling for the “scacciata“, a sort of what I did but using a bread/pizza dough instead of puff pastry.
I gathered in the video below all the stories that I posted yesterday on Instagram while I was making it, and for those curious about all the detailed steps, keep on reading after the video: I promise it’s something really easy that anyone can do and customize as per liking. You can also find the video below as reel on Instagram to save and share!
If you have extra time and want to make your own puff pastry, you are of course more than welcome to do so. With my busy life I don’t always have the time to make everything from scratch, even if many thinks most Italians do, so I purchase the puff pastry at the supermarket: not the frozen one, not the one that comes in small sheet, but the one that you can find in the fridge section and is one big layer. The brand “Wewalka” is one of those I like and I can find it easily at supermarkets like Albertson. If you are making it for one or two people, you can use one sheet of puff pastry cut in two equal parts, so that one will be for the bottom layer and the other will be for the top layer; while if you want to make enough for more than two people, I suggest to purchase two sheets like I did.
As said before, you can use lots of different ingredients for the filling but if you want to recreate what I did, follow the steps below:
- get one cauliflower head, cut the florets in 2-3 pieces each depending on their size, and put them in a bowl with just a little bit of olive oil, salt, onion powder. Put it in the air fryer at 400 degree for 10-15 minute (mine were ready in 12, just make sure they are softer and a bit roasted, not too brown or black!)
- in a frying pan put a little bit of olive oil, and when hot add the onions in pieces (I used 2 red shallots, you can also use a different kind if you like) and sausage (I like the Jimmy Dean one sold at Costco!), and brown them up. Add any spice you like, I added salt, pepper, onion and mushroom powder. Add a little bit of red cooking wine if you have it, and don’t keep the flame too high, we want the ingredients to combine their flavors and not burn up. Remember to stir often while you do the other things.
- in a little bowl combine a teaspoon of corn starch with some water and mix it up until the corn starch is dissolved, put it aside
- add the cauliflowers to the frying pan and some heavy cream. Use a hand mixed to lightly break down the ingredients if they are too bulky. If you don’t have a hand mixer, you can chop the cauliflowers before and cooking them in the pan before the meat and onion.
- if you would like to add peas, this is the moment to add them to the frying pan, as they don’t need to cook too much or will become too hard.
- slowly add the corn starch and water mixture to the frying pan, while continuing to stir and bring it to boil for a minute before turning the heat off and putting it aside for few minutes
- lay the first layer of puff pastry down, add the filling leaving some space on all the sides; add cheese if you want, either shredded or in thin slices and then cover everything up with the other layer of puff pastry. Then use a fork to push down all around the sides and corners and to make few holes on the top layer of the puff pastry (check picture above).
- put it in the oven at 400 degrees for 25-35 minutes. It all depends from the puff pastry you will use, the ingredients and the kind of oven you have. I have a convection oven and I cooked it for 25 minutes at 400 and left it in the oven for 15 extra minutes with the door a bit open. I could have got it out a bit sooner and it would have been less brown and flaky, so adjust depending on your liking and the cooking instructions on the puff pastry you will use.
Have you tried puff pastry before? What is your favorite way to eat it? Do you use your own or buy a pre-made one? Let me know in the comments here on the blog or on my socials! I’m always on the hunt for new and forgotten recipes to surprise my family with, and I hope you’ll enjoy with quick and easy one I shared here, so of course don’t forget to let me know if you’ll try it!