Colour and goodness, a great combination – Carrot Pie With Pancetta and Thyme

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Today I feel like I would expect to feel if a truck had passed over my body and mind. Yesterday I started shooting a new job on Sicilian food and went up to Milan over the day which means that I get up at 5 and get back about 22.30 and work 8-9 hours in between. If it wasn’t for the people I work with and the nice atmosphere I would hate it but now it is easy to support though I feel pretty tired the day after. This is the problem of living in Tuscany when you find my kind of job in Milan, you just have to accept to travel more and I am fortunate to have my lovely parents-in-law in Milan where I can stay when I manage several days in a row. Now my mother-in-law is a great cook too so it is doubly nice stay with them as you can imagine.

Carrot and Pancetta  Pie With Thyme

I wasn’t only going to talk about that now, I wanted to post this recipe of another dish that is good for autumn cooking and that can be made when you don’t have that many interesting vegetables at home but still want to eat something relatively healthy. And colourful, we need that now I think, more than ever. Carrots might not be the choice of everyone but if you cook/braise them in a skillet with thyme and pancetta/bacon, I can promise you that the flavours are as far away from those limp boiled carrots you were served at the school canteen as you can get. Truly. Now you can do this in two ways, either you do the lazy and use puff pastry or you can make a great pie with potatoes in the pie crust, the choice is yours!

Carrot and Pancetta  Pie With Thyme

CARROT PIE WITH PANCETTA  AND THYME


pie crust:
5 medium sized potatoes
100-150 g / 3,5-5.3 oz butter or olive oil
500-600 ml / 2.1-2.5 cups flour
1,5 tsp baking powder
salt
OR
bought puff pastry or any other choice of yours

filling:
1,5 kg/ 3,3 lb carrots
100 g/ 3,5 oz (or more) pancetta or bacon, diced
a couple of sprigs of thyme
salt
extra-virgin olive oil

Peel and slice the carrots thinly and cook in some olive oil slowly in a pan or a skillet with the thyme until the carrots are soft. Add the pancetta and go on cooking until the carrots are slightly golden and the pancetta a bit crispy. Check the salt now when the pancetta has been added to avoid it to get too salty.

Boil the potatoes and when they are ready you press them through a potato ricer. Do it while they are still warm because when they are cold it is really hard to press them through the little holes. Let it cool down a bit before you add butter, flour and the baking powder. Check if it is salt enough. You might have to add more flour if the potatoes are very humid, the dough has to be elastic and not too ‘hard’. Line a pie tin with the dough, leave some dough so that you can decorate it with dough strips if you want.

Fill the pie with carrots and pancetta and bake the pie in a pre-heated oven (175°C / 347°F) for about 30 minutes.

Carrot and Pancetta  Pie With Thyme

L