Olive Magazine

Pigeon and pea pastilla

Published: December 19, 2014 at 2:32 pm
  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Total time
  • A little effort
  • Serves 4

Try this Moroccan recipe for pigeon. Traditionally made with warka pastry it's easy to recreate it using filo, where the pastry wraps around a filling of shredded pigeon spiced with ras el hanout, saffron and ginger. Delicious dusted with icing sugar to serve.



  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • oil
  • butter
  • 8 pigeon breasts, skinned and cut into small cubes
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ras el hanout
  • a pinch saffron, soaked in 100ml hot chicken stock
  • 100g of freshly podded peas
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • chopped to make 2 tbsp parsley
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 8 sheets warka or filo pastry


  • STEP 1

    Fry the onion in a little oil and butter until it softens completely, then add the pigeon and brown it lightly. Sprinkle over the ginger and ras el hanout, cook for 1 minute and then add the saffron and stock. Cover tightly with a lid cook for 15 minutes, or until the pigeon is tender. Remove the lid, add the peas and simmer to evaporate any extra liquid. Stir in the garlic and the beaten egg and season.

  • STEP 2

    Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Mix the almonds, icing sugar and cinnamon. Lay a pastry sheet on the work surface with the short side facing you, brush with a little melted butter, and then add another sheet and butter again.

  • STEP 3

    Sprinkle ¼ of the almond mixture on the bottom ⅓ nearest you, keeping it in the centre so you can fold the sides in. Add ¼ of the pigeon and pea mixture, fold the sides in and then fold the bottom bit of the pastry up over the filling, carefully roll and fold the pastry up to make a roll. Butter the outside and transfer to an oiled baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining pastry. You can chill them at this point if you like.

  • STEP 4

    Bake for 15-20 minutes (25 minutes from chilled) or until the pastries are golden. Dust with a little icing sugar to serve.


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