Thursday, June 18, 2009

Torta Rustica

This is from an evening cooking class I took recently. From the handout:

A fabulous main course, easy to make, and freezes well. Add whatever cheese-vegetable-meat combo you want and bake in your pizza crust until done. Serve warm, room temp, or cold. Store it well covered for up to two days in the fridge, or seal and freeze. Good with black olive bread, a leafy, mixed greens salad and some black olives.


One recipe for pizza dough
1/4 cup olive oil, mixed use (maybe not this much)
1 onion, hcopped
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 TBS chopped fresh basil
2 tsp dried oregano
2 large tomatoes, sliced, or 2 cups marinara sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lb fresh, cleaned, spinach
1 lb eggplant
1 lb thinly sliced proscuitto, or ham, or cooked Italian sausage if desired
1 lb red peppers
1/2 lb sliced provolone cheese
1/2 lb mozzerella, sliced

Cut eggplant lengthwise in 1/4 inch slices. Soak in salt water for 20 minutes. Pat slices dry with paper towel, line baking sheets with parchment paper, brush eggplant slices with olive oil and bake in a 425F preheated oven for 10 minutes on each side. Set aside to cool.

Saute the onion, peppers and garlic in 3 TBS olive oil until tender.

Reduce the heat to medium, add mushrooms, basil, oregano, and salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions and mushrooms are limp.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Roll out 3/4 of the dough into a 16 inch circle, approx. 1/2 inch thick. Place the dough in a 9x3 spring form pan, allowing a 1 inch overhang all around the pan. Layer each ingredient in the pan as desired, or dump them all in at once. Spinach does not need to be cooked prior to putting in Torta. Roll out the remaining dough into a circle to fit the top of the Torta Rustica. Lay it over the top and fold up the overhanging dough, crimping them together to seal the edges. Make 4 small slits in the top to let steam escape and brush with the beaten egg. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired (do desire this!). Place the Torta Rustica in the preheated oven and bake for one hour. Let cool to room temp before cutting (with serrated knife) and serving. Serves 12.

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