Thursday, April 19, 2012

a late torta pasqualina

i know that it maybe late, completely late for sure.. but i just couldn't keep this post not being published. actually, this was KBB's challenge last month, we had to do a savory baking. indeed, some of us were going to celebrate easter earlier this month, so we were all dared to make this (rumor has it) traditional italian easter tart.

however, i wasn't really positive about how this tart might taste like. what i did thought was that it would taste a little weird on my tongue.. guess why?! because here in Indonesia, we rarely eat spinach with cheese. but seeing all the history i've made with foods i've been eating all my life, i never had any problem with italian food. oh, sorry, i had.. :) it was salad with arugula and rare meat. i would never eat that again. but this Torta Pasqualina, i was also curious about how it would taste. turns out, all my anticipation on whether i will like it or not must change into an anticipation of how many inches my waistline would increase after eating it. i love it! perhaps because of it, i will be making spinach quiche quite often in my kitchy.

but i know, some of you might just be as curious as me when i was first hearing its name. what is torta pasqualina? torta pasqualina is so sexy to say, torrrrta pasqualina. i always always always love hearing spanish and italian language. i wish i had some chances to learn those languages soon. okay, back to torta pasqualina, it is some sort of tart, made from 7 layers of phyllo pastry in the bottom, then a thick layer of spinach - eggs - spices - and milk mixture, then a heaven of cheesy layer, and closed with another 7 layers of phyllo. not forgetting to mention the 10 special whole eggs pour into the cheesy layer just as it is. as the tart baked, the eggs would become hard boiled eggs. LOVE IT!

Torta Pasqualina
Source: Old Time Cooking Recipes

600 g (1 lb 5 oz) white flour
6 Tbs olive oil
a pinch of salt 

1 kg (2 lb) Swiss chard (silver beet) or spinach 
400 g (0.9 lb) cottage cheese/ricotta cheese 
100 g (3.5 oz) parmesan 
10 eggs 
2 teaspoons marjoram, chopped 
2 teaspoons parsley, chopped 
garlic, minced (optional) 
olive oil 
salt, pepper

1. DOUGH: 
-Combine flour, oil, a pinch of salt and enough cold water to make a
medium soft dough. 
-Knead well for 10 minutes or until the dough becomes elastic. 
-Divide the dough into 14 balls. 
-Cover with cloth and let stand for about 1 hour.

-Clean, wash and dry the Swiss chard.
-Place in a saucepan with little boiling water and cook at high heat
until wilted. -Cool, then squeeze out excess liquid and chop finely.
-Add 50 g (1.7 oz) parmesan cheese, marjoram, parsley, garlic and 2
eggs. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Oil a round shallow oven dish, 9 inches (22 cm) in diameter.

4. Flatten each piece of dough, one at a time, making each a very thin
disk, larger than the baking pan you are going to use. 

5. Lay the pastry on the oven dish, allowing it to flow over the
edges. Oil it lightly.

6. Place another disk over it and repeat until you have used 7 disks. 

7. Spread the Swiss chard stuffing over the dough, and then spread the
cottage cheese over the greens level with a knife.

8. Make 8 small cavities. Pour a raw egg into each cavity and sprinkle
each with salt, pepper and remaining parmesan cheese.

9. Cover the whole lot with the same number of pastry sheets, each
brushed with oil. 

10. Pinch the borders and trim the excess dough, prick the top of the
pie in a few places and then brush with oil.

11. Bake for 1 hour in 190 C (375 F) oven. Allow to rest before
removing from the cake tin

what happened in my kitchen?

  • since i was very afraid i wouldn't like this tarts, i make it 1/3 recipe.
  • i added some salt, pepper, and chicken powder into my phyllo dough to make them more flavorful.
  • i used baby spinach, yum yum!
  • i didn't use cottage or ricotta or parmesan, but i used 1/2 part cream cheese 1/2 part mascarpone to substitute the ricotta. and replaced parmesan with cheddar. yeah i know, it may not taste as the recipe should, but that's all i could get that time and it still tastes superb.. so why bother? :p

seems long? yeah.. but it's worth a try and delicious as well!
i hope you'll like it as much as i do.. :)
thanks for reading!

Much Love,
Monica Adriana

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