This recipe is from a cookbook that I bought at a wholesale club a while ago. The photography is beautiful, and it’s full of recipes that I want to try. I haven't cooked from it in a while, so I decided to try two different dishes from it in one day. This torte was fantastic! I shouldn’t have picked the hottest day of the year to make it (over 90°F at the beginning of May? REALLY!?) but it was so tasty that it was worth it. This is hearty from the mixture of vegetables, and the texture is smooth and decadent. I can’t see how this would only serve 4 people though – I’d say 6. It’s kind of like a quiche, and the mixture of cheeses was beautifully silky. This dish is sure to impress, and my Italian in-laws loved it!
The Food of Italy: A Journey for Food Lovers – Sophie Braimbridge and Jo Glynn
150g (5 ½ oz) asparagus
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 zucchini (courgette), halved lengthways and finely sliced
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
100g (3 ½ oz) spinach, stalks removed if necessary
1 tablespoon chopped basil
75g (¾ cup) grated Parmesan cheese
250g (1 cup) ricotta cheese
250g (9 oz) mascarpone cheese
WASH the asparagus and remove the woody ends (hold each spear at both ends and bend it gently – it will snap at its natural breaking point). Remove the spear tips of the asparagus and slice the remaining stems. Bring a small saucepan of salted water to a boil and cook the asparagus stems for about 2 minutes. Add the tips and cook for 1 minute. Drain the asparagus and set aside.
PREHEAT the oven to 180°C (375°F/Gas 4). Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and cook the onion until soft. Increase the heat and add the zucchini. Cook until the zucchini is soft and golden brown, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Finally, add the spinach and mix briefly until just wilted.
REMOVE the pan from the heat, add the asparagus and the basil, season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool
GREASE a 20 cm (8 inch) springform tin with butter and dust with about 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan. Mix together the ricotta, mascarpone, eggs and 50 g (½ cup) of the Parmesan and add it to the cooled vegetables. Mix well and taste for seasoning.
SPOON the mixture into the tin and scatter with the remaining Parmesan. Place in the oven, on a tray to catch any drips, and cook for about 30 minutes. The top should be light golden brown and the mixture still wobble slightly in the centre. Leave to cool for 30 minutes, then chill in the fridge for about 3 hours, until the torte has set. Serve with a simple rocket (arugula) or mixed leaf salad.
MacGourmet Rating: 5 Stars