Frying Pan Squash And Cavolo Nero Pie - Anna Jones

This tart is a meeting of two amazing dinners I ate in the same week. One was a light, crisp feta and spinach spanakopita pie in a no-frills Greek café, not far from home. The other was in a great pizza place a few minutes’ walk from my house, where I ate a pizza topped with smashed squash, crispy cavolo nero and black olives. I loved the flavours of the pizza so much I wanted to work them into something that was quick enough to make on a weeknight, and this is it.

This is a cheat’s pie that uses a frying pan instead of a tart tin and is filled with super-quick grated and shredded veg.


  • Serves 4-6
  • 2 red onions
  • coconut or olive oil
  • 450g butternut squash
  • ½ a bunch of fresh thyme
  • 1 × 200g pack of filo pastry
  • 2 free-range or organic eggs
  • 100g pecorino or Parmesan cheese (I use a vegetarian one)
  • olive oil
  • 200g cavolo nero or kale
  • 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 100g goat’s cheese
  • 100g black olives (I use Kalamata)


Preheat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7 and get all your ingredients together. You’ll need a 24cm frying pan.

Heat a saucepan on a low heat while you finely chop your onions, then turn the heat up to medium, add a little coconut oil and cook the onions for 5 minutes, until soft and sweet.

While the onions are cooking, peel and roughly dice the squash. Add it to the onions along with the thyme leaves and cook for 5–10 minutes, until the mixture is dry.

Meanwhile, unwrap the sheets of filo and lay them over your frying pan, leaving a little overlap round the edges (you’ll fold this in later). Keep laying the filo in the pan until you have a good sturdy 3–4 sheet layer all over – you may need to patch it together bit by bit if you have small sheets.

Once the squash has had 5 minutes, scoop it into a bowl. Crack in the eggs and grate in the pecorino or Parmesan. Season with freshly ground black pepper and mix well.

Recipe from A Modern Way to Cook by Anna Jones (Fourth Estate, £25). Photographs by Matt Russell