During the holy week of Easter it is tradition in both Argentina and many other countries, to not eat red meat but instead eat plenty of fish and vegetable dishes before Easter Sunday.
Empanadas de vigilia are often eaten in Argentina during Good Friday as they are made of tuna, spinach and eggs. Instead of the usual short crust pastry, empanadas de vigilia are made with puff pastry which makes them completely different to our usual meat empanadas.
There are many other traditional Easter recipes which we eat in Argentina such as tarta pascualina. My recipe for tarta pascualina can also be found here.
Today’s recipe is EXTREMELY easy. Making the filling is very quick as the canned tuna does not need cooking AND I cheated by using shop bought puff pastry! I usually like to make my own pastry but as puff pastry can take a while to make and can be complicated, shop bought pastry worked wonderfully for an easy yet delicious Easter weekend treat!
This recipe easily makes 24 medium sized empanadas!
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 finely chopped large onion
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 finely chopped green pepper
- 2 cans of tuna steaks – I used the drained cans of tuna in a little bit of sunflower oil.
- 100g of cooked and chopped spinach – I steam cooked the spinach before starting to cook for a few minutes.
- 3 large boiled eggs – once boiled and cooled, chop them into small pieces
- A pinch of salt and pepper
- A small pinch of crushed chilli
- 2 packs of 500g Just-roll puff pastry block
- Some plain flour – to flour the surface when rolling the dough
- 1 Beaten egg in a bowl – To seal the empanadas and egg wash
- A medium sized bowl to use as dough cutter – Mine is 13cm in diameter.
To make the tuna filling
- In a pan, heat the olive oil. Once hot, add the chopped onions and cook until transparent. To this add the minced garlic and finely chopped green peppers. Cook this for a further 2-3 minutes whilst stirring.
- To this add the already cooked and chopped spinach and cook for a further 5 minutes. (steam cook or boil the fresh spinach beforehand in a separate pan).
- Remove the filling from the heat and add the drained tuna steaks. Mix well ensuring all the tuna steaks pieces break apart. Season with salt, pepper and crushed chilli and stir well.
- Finally, add the chopped boiled egg and stir well.
To assemble the empanadas
- Start preheating the oven at 200 degree Celsius.
- Add a bit of flour to a clean surface and roll half of the puff pastry block until it is thin and a few millimetres thick.
- Use your dough cutter to cut a circle with a diameter of approximately 13cm.
- Place the disc in a clean plate and using a brush, cover the centre of the disc (until about 1cm from the edge) with the beaten egg.
- Use a spoon to place a good quantity of filling in the middle of the disc. Ensure it is not too much filling otherwise it will not close properly!
- On the plate, close the empanada by bring one end of the disc onto the other side of the disc.
- Using your finger, close the empanada by ensuring the two ends are closed together and all air is removed. DO NOT CRIMPLE the edges of the empanada.
- Place the empanada in a baking tray covered with parchment paper.
- Once all the empanadas are made, egg wash them with the beaten egg and brush.
- Bake the empanadas for 25-30 minutes until all puffed up and golden!
- ENJOY! 🙂
I hope you enjoy this classic Argentine Easter recipe and brings as much joy to you as it does to me!
Buen provecho! 🙂