Torta Rustica

From Scratch: A springtime full of eggs

You can make the recipe below a day ahead and serve it at room temperature, or reheat it in the oven.

I always associate springtime with eggs. Growing up, we would visit my grandfather’s farm and see all the eggs then return a couple weeks later to play with the chicks.

Being Ukrainian, I was taught to make pysanka by my Baba, Mom and aunt, who had a talent for those straight lines and steady hands.

After all those years of being taught, I’m still working on it – it is a talent!  At Eastertime, we would dye our eggs and put them in our basket to enjoy over breakfast; mine cut in four with a touch of salt to savour the taste. Now, I love getting farm eggs with shells in delicate colours of green, blue and brown, some even speckled. They are a delight for my family on Easter morning.

Easter is quite often a busy time for many of us committed to feeding our loved ones. Don’t make this stressful — do a brunch after the kids are done with their egg hunt.

You can make the recipe below a day ahead and serve it at room temperature, or reheat it in the oven. As a suggestion, serve it with a fresh fruit salad, mimosas all around, toasted brioche & jam.

 

Torta Rustica*

Serves 8

This is a hearty, savoury torta with a cornmeal pastry in a springform pan. Layers of cheese, chopped spinach, prosciutto, and roasted red peppers fill the pie. A top crust is added, and then the torta is baked until it’s golden.

It sounds harder to make than it is, and is a real show-stopper!

 

Pastry

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup butter, diced

2 eggs

4 tablespoons cold water

1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese

4 ounces feta cheese

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg

 

Filling

1/4 cup chopped parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 pound ham slices or prosciutto

1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped

spinach, thawed and drained

1/2 (16 ounce) jar roasted red peppers,

drained and patted dry

1 egg

Mix flour, cornmeal, and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Beat 2 eggs with 3 tablespoons cold water; stir into flour mixture until dough holds together. Add another tablespoon of water if needed. Shape two-thirds of the dough into flattened round; repeat with remaining third. Wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or until firm enough to roll.

In another bowl, combine ricotta cheese, crumbled feta, Parmesan cheese, 1 egg, parsley, basil, and oregano until well-blended.

Have an 8- or 9-inch springform pan ready. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger portion of dough into a 15-inch diameter circle. Carefully place in ungreased pan; press lightly against bottom and sides. Trim overhanging dough to 1 inch from pan rim.

Scatter half of the mozzarella over the bottom of the crust. Next, arrange half the ham slices in an even layer. Spread with ricotta cheese mixture, then sprinkle with spinach. Cover with the remaining ham slices. Press down gently to pack layers. Add red peppers in a single layer, and top with the remaining mozzarella. Press down again.

Roll out remaining dough to 8- or 9-inch circle. Place over filling to cover. Moisten edges, and seal crusts together. Crimp or flute edges. Crust should not extend above pan rim. Beat remaining egg, and brush over the crust. Cut several small vents in top crust for steam to escape.

Bake at 375 F (190 C) for 1 hour, or until crust is deep golden brown and pulls away from sides. Cool in pan on wire rack 45 minutes. Remove pan sides; cool completely. Cut into 12 wedges. Serve at room temperature. (*This recipe is copyrighted with the All Recipes website).

This time of year makes my heart leap — the grass is greening, the birds are chirping, there is hotter, longer sunshine and for whatever reason, peoples’ moods appear brighter and more pleasant. Enjoy this spring and get going on that garden planning!

Lara McCormack is one of the owners of From Scratch – A Mountain Kitchen in Fairmont Hot Springs where one can savour fabulous seasonal food, sip from a selection of beverages including B.C. wines and enjoy the views of our gorgeous valley landscape

Just Posted

The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read