Sweet potato pastilla recipe | Sainsbury`s Magazine (2024)

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Serves: 6

Sweet potato pastilla recipe | Sainsbury`s Magazine (2)Prep time: 30 mins

Sweet potato pastilla recipe | Sainsbury`s Magazine (3)Total time:

Sweet potato pastilla recipe | Sainsbury`s Magazine (4)

Recipe photograph by Dan Jones

Recipe by Anna Glover

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A Moroccan pastilla is traditionally filled with pigeon and apricots. This colourful vegetarian version uses sweet potato and cinnamon. Serve with roast carrots and buttered kale

Serves: 6

Sweet potato pastilla recipe | Sainsbury`s Magazine (5)Prep time: 30 mins

Sweet potato pastilla recipe | Sainsbury`s Magazine (6)Total time:

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Sweet potato pastilla recipe | Sainsbury`s Magazine (7)

Anna Glover

Anna is our former Creative Food Editor, and a cookery writer and food stylist. She loves a challenge and is known for whipping up interesting flavour combinations. She’s still in search of the best pizza in the world

See more of Anna Glover’s recipes

Sweet potato pastilla recipe | Sainsbury`s Magazine (8)

Anna Glover

Anna is our former Creative Food Editor, and a cookery writer and food stylist. She loves a challenge and is known for whipping up interesting flavour combinations. She’s still in search of the best pizza in the world

See more of Anna Glover’s recipes

Subscribe to Sainsbury’s magazine

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  • 750g sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus 2 tsp
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 260g young spinach
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 red peppers, deseeded and diced
  • 250g pack precooked brown rice
  • 220g pack fresh filo pastry
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 100g vegetarian feta, crumbled
  • a large pinch of poppy seeds or sesame seeds


Step by step

Get ahead

The pastilla can be prepared the day before baking; cover with clingfilm and chill. When ready to cook, brush with more butter, sprinkle with the seeds and add 10 minutes to the cooking time.

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Toss the sweet potato with 1 tablespoon of oil, the cumin seeds and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon. Season and tip onto a shallow baking tray. Roast for 30-35 minutes until tender and lightly golden. Leave to cool.
  2. Blanch the spinach in boiling water for 1 minute, then drain well. Tip into a colander; press out the liquid using the back of a spoon. Put in a clean tea towel; squeeze out any excess liquid. Leave to cool, then chop. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a frying pan and fry the onion for 10 minutes until soft, but not golden. Add the garlic and peppers, and cook for another 6-8 minutes until soft. Stir in the rice, remaining cinnamon and seasoning; remove from the heat and cool.
  3. On a large work surface, lay out 3 of the filo sheets end-to-end lengthways (keep the remaining filo pastry covered by a damp tea towel as you work), overlapping each one by about 10cm; stick them together with the melted butter to create a rectangle, then brush the whole thing generously with more butter. Repeat with 3 more sheets along the top half of the rectangle, positioned so they overhang by 10cm at the top. Butter again, then add 3 more sheets, this time to overlap by 10cm at the bottom half of the rectangle. You will end up with a rectangle that’s triple thickness in the middle, but only 1 sheet thick along the top and bottom. Spoon the pepper mix along the centre of the pastry (where it is triple thickness), leaving 5cm at either end. Add the sweet potato, then the spinach and feta on top. Butter the exposed pastry around the filling.
  4. Starting with the closest edge, lift the pastry over the filling, tucking in the ends; then roll up going away from you, to make a sausage. Starting at one end of the sausage, roll up to make a spiral pastilla. Don’t worry if it splits, simply butter pieces of the excess filo (you should have about 3 sheets remaining) and patch up the holes while you mould it.
  5. Slide a flat baking sheet gently under the pastilla. Butter the top and exposed sides generously, then sprinkle over the poppy seeds. Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden and crisp. Leave to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  6. Watch this...

    Sweet potato pastilla

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Sweet potato pastilla recipe | Sainsbury`s Magazine (2024)


Do you stab sweet potatoes before baking? ›

1) Always poke a few holes.

Before baking, use a fork to prick each sweet potato several times. You don't need to jab the fork in deep. We're creating steam vents. Otherwise the pressure in the sweet potato could build up so high in the oven that it explodes—an unlikely possibility but one best avoided!

What makes a good sweet potato? ›

When shopping for sweet potatoes — after you've decided whether you want a soft or firm variety — you should look for ones that have a smooth, taut skin and are free of soft spots, bruises, cracks or signs of sprouting.

How to make sweet potato to eat? ›

If you're in a hurry, you can also roast sweet potato halves for 30 minutes. Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise, rub them with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook cut-side up until lightly browned and tender.

Why do you soak sweet potatoes before baking? ›

TIPS & TRICKS to Make this Recipe: The main secrets to achieving that incredible crispy texture, is to soak the cut sweet potatoes in cold water for at least 30 minutes. This helps remove the starch from the sweet potatoes so they´re not limp & soggy.

Why do you need to soak sweet potatoes before cooking? ›

The cold water bath helps rinse the starch off the sweet potatoes so they're a bit more crispy. That said, if you do not have the time, you can still get crispy baked sweet potato fries by using high heat and a little drizzle of olive oil.

Is it better to wrap sweet potatoes in foil when baking? ›

Wrapping sweet potatoes in foil helps in a few ways. It prevents the exterior of the tuber from drying out and overheating too quickly, which would minimize enzymatic activity; it also results in a more evenly cooked texture.

What brings out the flavor of sweet potatoes? ›

Slow-roasting the sweet potatoes activates endogenous enzymes that bring out their natural sweetness.

What is the tastiest sweet potato? ›

For the gardener who doesn't care about looks, but is searching for taste, "Jewel" is considered the "Queen of Sweet Potatoes" and is the leading spud planted in North Carolina for commercial growers.

Why can't you eat the skin of a sweet potato? ›

The Bottom Line. You can eat sweet potato skin. It's a good source of fiber, a nutrient that may help lower the risk of heart disease and keep you feeling full for longer periods of time. The next time you make a sweet potato dish, whether it's a roasted side dish or a hearty, cozy casserole, leave the peel on.

What is the healthiest way to eat sweet potato? ›

Boiling sweet potatoes retains more beta-carotene and makes the nutrient more absorbable than other cooking methods such as baking or frying. Up to 92% of the nutrient can be retained by limiting the cook time, such as boiling in a pot with a tightly covered lid for 20 minutes.

Is it better to microwave or bake a sweet potato? ›

It's really the best way. Microwaving sweet potatoes cuts down cook time by 45 to 55 minutes, and, according to a 2018 study, helps maintain the potato's nutritional value. All cooking methods cause foods to lose some of their nutrients, but the quicker your potato cooks, the more nutrients it will retain.

Is it better to boil or bake sweet potatoes? ›

Baking can also cause an 80% drop in vitamin A levels, twice as much as boiling. Therefore, from a nutritional standpoint, boiling rather than baking should be recommended for cooking sweet potato.

Why do my sweet potatoes not taste sweet? ›

The longer and slower you cook a sweet potato, the more maltose is formed and the sweeter it will taste.

What is the difference between a yam and a sweet potato? ›

No, yams and sweet potatoes are not the same. Yams have rough, dark brown skin that is often compared to tree bark, and their flesh is dry and starchy like a regular potato. Sweet potatoes have smooth reddish skin, softer flesh (when cooked), and a sweet flavor.

Should you puncture potatoes before baking? ›

Yes! You MUST prick the potato before baking if not it will explode in the oven. Make sure you prick the skin all over with a fork and then bake and enjoy.

What happens if you don't stab a potato before baking it? ›

Rumor has it that an un-pricked spud will explode in the oven—but in all actuality, that's unlikely. Conventional wisdom says that when you bake a potato, you have to prick it with a fork all over a few times, piercing the skin to allow steam to release.

Do you pierce a potato to bake it? ›

Yes … poking holes in the skin of a potato keeps it from splitting open and squealing in the oven [or microwave.] It's weird, but true, they will actually whistle on the baking dish or tray from the water escaping through the skin, so poke it all over with a fork for even cooking.

Do you have to pierce potatoes before roasting? ›

For this experiment, we washed two potatoes and poked holes with a fork in one of them, leaving the other unpoked. The potatoes were then placed in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and they each took one hour to fully bake. Overall, we did not detect any difference between the poked and unpoked potatoes.

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