Roasted pumpkin meets salty fetta and creamy ricotta cheese in these golden crispy pumpkin and fetta rolls that can be enjoyed for lunch or dinner.
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Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a large baking tray with baking paper. Arrange pumpkin over the tray in a single layer. Spray with oil and season. Bake for 30-35 mins or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic, stirring, for 5 mins or until soft. Add the thyme and cook, stirring, for 1 min or until aromatic. Transfer to a large bowl with the pumpkin. Add the ricotta, fetta, lemon rind and pine nuts to the bowl. Season. Stir until well combined.
Place a filo sheet on a clean work surface. Brush lightly with a little butter. Top with a filo sheet. Sprinkle evenly with 2 tsp of the breadcrumbs. Starting from a short end, fold pastry in half. Slice in half crossways, so you have two separate rectangles.
Divide the pumpkin mixture into 12 even portions. Arrange a portion in a log shape in the centre of a rectangle. Brush edges of each rectangle with a little more butter, fold in the sides, then roll up to enclose filling. Repeat with remaining pastry, butter and pumpkin mixture to make 12 rolls.
Place rolls on the lined tray, seam-side down. Brush with a little egg. Sprinkle with seeds. Bake for 20 mins or until golden brown and crisp.
Serve with salad leaves, chutney and lemon wedges.
The nuts can go rancid if stored at room temperature. Instead, transfer any leftovers to a snap-lock bag and store in the fridge or freezer.
COOK. STORE. SAVE.
Clever storage: Filo freezes really well. Before cooking the pumpkin and ricotta rolls, place them in an airtight container with sheets of baking paper between the layers. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. The rolls can be cooked straight from frozen, just add another 5 minutes to the cooking time.
Use it up: Leftover ricotta can be simply spread on toast, drizzled with honey and eaten for breakfast or as a snack. Ricotta also adds a great creamy flavour and texture to fluffy blueberry pancakes. Or these ricotta and spinach pies can be made ahead and stored in the freezer, ready to be heated up in a flash in your oven or air fryer.
Smart swap: If you have mint growing wild in your garden, feel free to swap it for the thyme leaves. You will need two tablespoons.
You may have heard of the Greek favourite spinach and fetta pie (spanakopita), but what about its lesser known relative kolokithopita, in which the spinach is swapped for butternut pumpkin? This equally traditional snack often turns up on mezze plates, as a large pie or even sweetened and served as a morning pastry with coffee. In our twist on this classic, the pumpkin is roasted rather than sautéed, bringing out its natural sweet flavour. When combined with the cheeses and wrapped in flaky, buttery pastry, you have flavour-filled, freezer-friendly rolls that are perfect for meat-free Mondays or weekend lunches.
We’ve added a couple of little surprises to our pumpkin and fetta rolls to make them extra tasty. First, we don’t mash our roasted pumpkin. Instead, we leave the tiny squares whole, which keeps their golden caramelised edges. We’ve also added toasted pine nuts to the mixture for a surprise crunch. While you might often associate mint or dill with Greek cooking, we’ve used fresh thyme – a woodier herb from the same family as mint. The other trick in this recipe? We sprinkle the buttered filo sheets with dried breadcrumbs before cooking. This soaks up any excess liquid from the filling, ensuring the bases of the rolls stay crisp.
Used in sweet and savoury dishes alike, filo can be a bit daunting if working with it for the first time. Most importantly, you need to work quickly, as the smooth and silky sheets dry out easily. One way to prevent this is to cover the stack of filo pieces with a slightly damp tea towel (not too wet, as that would turn the pastry soggy). Lay a sheet of pastry on your work surface and brush lightly with butter. Start at the edges, as these dry out first when exposed to air. The rolls also need to be kept under a damp tea towel until baked.
Use a spatula to slightly flatten the filling in the bowl to create an even surface, then use a knife to gently score the top of the filling into four. Run the knife over each quarter to divide into three parts, giving you 12 portions. Place one of these portions on top of a filo square and form into a sausage shape. Fold in the side edges first and then firmly roll the pastry up. Place seam side down on the prepared tray, as this will help seal the rolls as they cook.
Then how about giving these inspired pumpkin and ricotta recipes a go. This elegant pumpkin and ricotta pasta dish is easy enough for a quick dinner and also elegant enough for a dinner party. Pasta makes way for gnocchi and is topped with whipped ricotta and pesto in this vegetarian favourite. Looking for more pumpkin and fetta recipes? Buy peeled and chopped pumpkin for our easy pumpkin and fetta frittata and for these super tasty 5-ingredient pumpkin, caramelised onion and fetta flatbreads.