Pasta la vista [2]

[Recipe 1] FULL-OF-VEGGIES BOLOGNAISE (recipe posted here) transforms into
Our Grand Final* is on this Saturday but I’ve gotta confess that I’m not a football fan. I went to one match when I was 13, deciding there and then that I didn’t ever need to relive the experience.
Most sport-related activities don’t really float my boat; but I do like the charged, slightly mental, atmosphere on Grand Final day though. Friends usually drop in to watch the whole damn exciting thing on TV with us; ploughing through mountains of food. These mini meat pies, topped with cut-out pastry footballs, go down a treat. Perfect finger food!
The pies are super easy to whip up as they use store-bought pastry. They’re also relatively healthy as they’re made with a reserved portion of Full-of-veggies bolognaise (originally posted back in February), which is plugged full of veggies and lentils. Enjoy! Have a beaut weekend readers. Hope your team wins!
*Overseas readers: The Grand Final is the end-of-Season championship game for Australian Rules Football, mildly akin to the Super Bowl or World Cup, but with a speck of the budget. If you’re not familiar with it, Aussie Rules is probably the weirdest game you’ll ever have seen. Grown men in tiny shrunken shorts kick, punch and throw a misshapen ball around. If a goal is scored, a man in a silly outfit gesticulates from under the goal posts.

Grand Final mini meat pies

[Recipe 3] Grand Final Day mini meat pies

Ingredients (makes 20 mini pies):
4 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
1 kilo (2 lb) reserved full-of-veggies bolognaise
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
5 sheets frozen shortcrust pastry, thawed
3 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Tomato sauce or Easy spiced tomato chutney, to serve

Preheat oven to 220°C (425ºF).
Grease 2 x 12-hole standard-sized muffin pans (you’ll need to grease 20 holes).
Blend flour with 3 tablespoons hot water to form a smooth paste.
Spoon reserved full-of-veggies bolognaise into a medium-sized saucepan.
Add flour paste and bring to boil. Simmer, uncovered, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, or until thickened. Stir in worcestershire sauce.
Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until cold.
Using a 10cm (4-inch) round cutter, cut out 20 circles from the shortcrust pastry. Press into prepared pan holes, covering them with a tea towel as you go, to prevent them drying out.
Brush inside pastry cases (this prevents them going soggy), and the edges, with egg.
Divide cooled bolognaise mixture among pastry cases.
Using a 7cm (2¾-inch) round cutter, cut out 20 circles from the puff pastry. Place on top of pies. Press edges together to seal. Cut out little football shapes from the puff pastry scraps and place one on top of each pie. You can score little lines for the laces on top too, if you have the patience. Brush tops of pies with egg, and prick with a fork.
Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown.
Serve with tomato sauce or Easy spiced tomato chutney.

  • If you don’t have a 10cm (4-inch) round cutter, trace around a lid with a sharp knife (a lid from a 450g tin of Milo is the perfect size).
  • The Grand Final Day mini meat pies can be cooked the day before and stored in the fridge.
  • If using fresh full-of-veggies bolognaise (not frozen) you can freeze the cooked mini meat pies, between sheets of baking paper, for up to one month. Thaw overnight in the fridge. To reheat pre-cooked pies, place the pies on a baking tray and bake at 180°C (350ºF) for 15 minutes, or until heated through.