Preheat oven to 350ºF./180ºC Line a large baking pan or pizza pan with non stick baking paper.
Finely chop onion and garlic.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Add onion and garlic and cook until golden. Set aside to cool.
Squeeze out as much moisture as you can from the defrosted spinach.
Mix spinach with the cooled onion mixture, ricotta, crumbled feta, grated parmesan or Romano cheese, eggs, grated nutmeg, salt.
Follow all the tips listed below when using fillo.
Take 4 sheets of filo brushing some of the ½ cup olive oil between each sheet.
Spoon about ⅕ of the mixture along the long side, roll up and twist into a coil onto the prepared baking tray. Don't panic if it splits a little - this is rustic cooking!
Continue this way until you have used up all the pastry and filling and your pie looks like a large coiled sausage.
Beat extra egg with extra salt. Brush the pie with egg getting into all the joins. Be liberal and make sure to use all of the egg.
Bake it for 1 hour by then it should be crispy brown all over and the gorgeous smell should be invading your house. Now you know it's ready.
Let it cool a little then cut it into generous wedges.
Which Filo pastry is best?I use Antoniou Fillo Pastry (a 375g packet) which is found in the chilled section of the supermarket. Each packet has approximately 20 sheets of the following dimensions: 27 cm (11″) by 40 cm (16″). The sizes of pastry sheets will depend on the brand, but a large rectangle of a similar size is fine.Tips for success
allow pastry to thaw at room temperature in it's packaging (2 hours for chilled pastry or 4 hours for frozen pastry)
have all other ingredients ready so there is no delay
unroll pastry onto a kitchen towel then cover with plastic wrap and another kitchen towel
if you live in a dry climate or environment, cover the plastic wrap with a barely damp kitchen towel
VariationsThis is not so much a recipe as maybe a method. I often vary the ingredients with what I have on hand so this recipe can really become yours. Start with my recipe and adjust and vary to your tastes.
Instead of frying an onion, just stir a cup full of chopped spring onion or scallions into the filling (no need to fry)
Any greens can be used in place of the spinach in this recipe. Try chard (silverbeet) or even kale. Simply follow the instruction above for cooking fresh spinach.
Add chopped herbs such as flat leaf parsley or fresh mint.
Using the same measurement of all the cheeses - use more feta than ricotta or use more parmesan.