Well Being

Torta Rustica: Italian Vegetarian Perfection

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torta rustica

If you are looking for a fabulous main course, Italian dish that is easy to make, and freezes great try this Torta Rustica. There are so many ways to make it that the recipe is almost needless.

Add whatever cheese-vegetable-meat combo you want,( this one was vegetarian) 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.

I love this with black olive bread, a leafy, mixed greens salad, some black olives, and if you want, maybe add this toffee, dark chocolate bundt cake for dessert.

Torta Rustica

One recipe for pizza dough
¼ cup olive oil, mixed use..you may not need this much
1 Onion, chopped
8 Ounces mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 Large tomatoes, sliced, or 2 c marinara sauce

1/2 tsp salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon 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 ¼ inch slices. Soak in salt water for 20 minutes.Pat the slices dry with paper towel, line baking sheets with parchment paper, brush eggplants 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 ¾ of the dough to a 16inch circle, approximately ½ inch thick. Place the dough in to a 9 x 3 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. Place the Torta Rustica in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour. Let cool to room temp before cutting and serving, serves 12.

Image: (c) Marye Audet Apron Strings and Simmering Things

Content (c) Marye Audet Baking Delights