Savory Ricotta Torte

Stumbling across two pounds of fresh, locally made ricotta for less than $6 at Adam's Farms left Cafe Drake HRV with a fridge full of the creamy, rich cheese. This savory pie - or torte - was inspired by memories of a similar one bought years ago at a salumeria in NYC's Little Italy and thrown together using whatever we had handy. So feel free to experiment with ingredients and seasonings but just letting you know this one turned out to be PERFECT! First, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and then stir together in a large mixing bowl: 1 cup ricotta cheese, 1 cup grated Swiss cheese, about 1/2 t. salt, 1/2 t. dried basil, 1 t. dried oregano and 1 beaten egg. Using your favorite homemade or store-bought pie dough, carefully shape to well-oiled pie or large tart pan, prick with a fork all over and pre-bake for about 10 minutes or according to pie dough instructions (if store bought). Remove pie crust from oven and fill with cheese and herb mixture. Dot the surface with pieces of good tangy green olives OR oil-cured black olives. We only used about 6 total, after pitting and tearing apart. Return all to the oven for 20 minutes and allow to stand 10 minutes before slicing. Season with black pepper and a good finishing olive oil if desired.

Pre-baked pie crust topped with cheese filling.

And after 20-25 minutes in the oven. Allowing the torte to rest for 10 minutes after baking helps firm the filling.

Of course it's delicious hot and oozing but almost equally satisfying at room temperature. Serve thin wedges as part of an antipasto or larger slices with a salad for a light vegetarian entree.


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